Extensive improvements planned for PCSSD

On Nov. 2, those in the Pulaski County Special School District will have the opportunity to vote on a bond restructuring that would in turn fund a total of 10 projects to expand and improve campuses along with new facilities.

Election Day is when the 40.7 mill school tax would be renewed but the district is asking voters to restructure its current debt to allow for nearly $80 million in improvements to seven of its campuses, along with three projects that would make PCSSD more efficient.

The vote to approve the refinancing would not change the tax bill for property owners but it would extend the end payment date to 2048. Currently, the bonds would be paid off in 2032 and 2035.

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The previous bonds were issued in 2012, 2016 and 2017 after approval from voters in the school district. The tax rate would remain unchanged.

Maumelle would be one of the biggest beneficiaries if the restructuring was approved.

Not counting lighting and software improvements that would be district-wide, Maumelle would have $15 million in multiple projects slated for its high school campus.

A rendering of the proposed indoor practice facility at Maumelle High.

The largest is $11 million for new baseball and softball fields, as well as an indoor practice facility that would be used by all sports teams at the school. There’s also $4 million for the Northwest Transportation Hub that would be at the high school.

“The new bus barn … will be placed to the left of the track location near Maumelle High School,” said district spokeswoman Jessica Duff in an email. The move would eliminate $75,000 in rental debt.

The campus layout at Maumelle High School with the new track and field complex along with the planned bus barn.

Maumelle is already slated to get a track and field complex that would “be a stand-alone facility to the left of the football field” and Duff explained that the track was, “already approved by the [School] Board as a project to begin on immediately.”

The district-wide projects have a six-year timeline on completion but, “as soon as the vote passes, the bidding process will begin followed by construction for all projects,” Duff said.

The projects, with dollar amounts

  • Robinson High: expansion to increase enrollment to 1,500 students … $35 million

  • Maumelle High: indoor practice facility, softball and baseball fields … $11 million

  • New Northwest Transportation Pound at Maumelle High … $4 million

  • Mills High: multi-purpose facility … $15 million

  • Baker Elementary: expansion to increase enrollment to 700 students … $5 million

  • Harris Elementary: modifications and facility improvements … $3 million

  • College Station Elementary: modifications and facility improvements … $3 million

  • District lighting upgrades … $2 million

  • Sylvan Hills High: band room … $1 million

  • Software integration upgrades … $1 million (contingent on others first being completed)

“We have a unique opportunity to fund a number of large projects for our District and have a zero tax-impact on voters,” said Superintendent Dr. Charles McNulty in a release and if voters approve it, “will free up the funds for master plan projects. It’s a perfect storm that will benefit our students and staff tremendously.” 

Early voting begins later this month, on Oct. 26