Let the building begin: Berryville voters approve millage increase

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Berryville School District will begin the preliminary work on its construction project by the end of the year.

Berryville School District voters approved a 4.45-mill property tax increase in Tuesday’s school election. Revenue from the tax will be used to help finance the $23.85 million construction project that will include a new high school building

Superintendent Owen Powell said the district was thrilled to learn that voters had approved the millage increase.

“We are super excited. We are happy for our students to have this opportunity,” he said, “and we appreciate voters turning out and approving this.”

While it is hard to predict how any election will go, Powell said he felt that school staff did a good job of calling parents and explaining the district’s goals for the millage increase.

“We had a good turnout,” he said. “It felt great when we heard it had passed.”

Final, unofficial totals on the millage increase were 544 votes for the increase and 457 votes against it.

In the only contested school board race, incumbent Kristi Howerton defeated challenger Wendell Dunbar for a five-year term in Berryville’s At Large Position 2. Final, unofficial totals were 833 votes for Howerton and 126 for Dunbar.

The Carroll County Election Commission will meet at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, in the Carroll County Clerk’s Office, to certify the election results.

Powell said the school district’s next step will be to meet with the architect, Lewis Architects Engineers of Little Rock, and the construction manager, Nabholz Construction, to form a plan to see how quickly they can get preliminary construction underway.

The first part of the project will be the construction of the sports complex, he said, with work on that phase likely beginning in late November to early December.

“Hopefully, we can stick with that timeline,” Powell said. “We’re excited to see this project get started. It’s going to be a great thing for our students.”

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