Trumann presents facilities master plan

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Trumann School District held a public hearing Jan. 4 regarding an update to the facilities master plan that must be submitted to the Arkansas Department of Education.

Superintendent Joe Waleszonia discussed past and current projects underway by the district as part of its 10-year plan.

The new Trumann High School is completed and in its second year of operation. Over the summer, the district completed a project at Cedar Park Elementary in which a new kitchen and restrooms were installed and improvements made to hallways.

The district currently is working on a project at Trumann Intermediate School that will renovate the entire facility, including the area where the district's administrative offices are located.

A portion of the library at the school has been converted into a state-of-the-art computer lab.

"We have all new wiring, ceiling tiles, heat and air, windows and doors," the superintendent said. "We lack about 20 windows from completion."

He said the district was able to get a lot of work completed over the holiday break.

Waleszonia said the projects at Cedar Park and TIS were completed using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, as well as state Partnership in Education funds.

"These projects cost the local district no money," he said. "This was a good opportunity for us. I know everyone can be down on President Obama, but as far as this school district goes, we wouldn't be able to do these things without him."

Waleszonia said the projects totaled $1.9 million, with about $500,000 coming from state money and the remainder from ARRA funds.

The district was able to use Title I federal money to purchase new computers and smart boards, he added.

ARRA money is being used to create Americans with Disabilities Act approved playgrounds. According to Teresa Hendrix, the playground at TIS is expected to be complete by spring and will be completely handicap-accessible. She said a child in a wheelchair then will be able to use the playground, which will include a teeter-totter and merry-go-round.

According to Hendrix, the high school also will have an ADA-approved computer lab. It was noted the lab can be used by all students.

Title I funding also was used for the new Parent Center located on Magnolia in Trumann, across from Cedar Park Elementary.

The district will host a grand opening for the new Parent Center from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18.

The Parent Center is located at 119 North Magnolia. Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 19, operation hours at the Parent Center will be: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.; Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Parent Center will be closed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., daily.

"This is going to be a very nice facility for parents to go to in order toobtain resources and learn some things to help their children," Waleszonia said.

Some future partnership projects include: renovation of the multi-purpose wing, east wing and west wing at Cedar Park in 2013-14; renovation of the gymnasium and field house for physical education classes at TIS in 2013-14; renovation of Chapter 1, gymnasium and cafeteria at Cedar Park in 2014-15; renovation of FACS, music and band area, and cafeteria at TIS in 2014-15, and renovation of ALE at TIS in 2015-16.

In reference to partnership projects, Waleszonia said when the district applies it must be able to match. He said while the state contributes 62 percent, the remaining 38 percent comes from the district.

"This is based on a wealth index," he said. "The partnership money must be used for academic spaces only."

Waleszonia said it probaby will be five to seven years before a new football stadium can be built at the new high school complex. In the meantime, he said, he hopes to be able to free up some funding at some point to make some upgrades at the current stadium.

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