The Batesville School District (BSD) board of directors have passed a strategic plan for the repurposing of Central Magnet Elementary and restructuring of the current BSD grades.
Known as “Option 1,” the plan will have the preschool move from the Batesville Preschool Center to the Central campus, which is currently attended by kindergarten through sixth-grade students.
The current Central students, staff, and administration would be moved and distributed to the other three campuses — Eagle Mountain, Sulphur Rock, and West — by August of 2018. The current preschool would stay open for one more year while rooms and the playground at Central are renovated for an opening in August of 2019.
“Option 1” was passed this evening at the board meeting along with a secondary plan that will move sixth graders to the Junior High and ninth graders to the Senior High.
The plan passed by a vote of 6-1, with BSD board director Chris Milum being the sole descending vote.
“I cannot vote for a plan that does not have a contingency for growth on the high school campus,” said Milum. “We are moving 250 students into a building that is already crowded.”
Batesville High School principal David Campbell stated the campus could hold more students on top of what would be moving up from the ninth-grade class.
“The high school is close to capacity but we could add approximately 200 more than what would be moving up,” said Campbell. “We’d have to get creative with how to handle that many students, but it could be done.”
Superintendent Dr. Michael Hester praised the board for their vision and the hard work of all who were involved in the development of this plan. He also stated that this was the right plan for Batesville.
For more on this story, listen to Ozark Newsline with Gary B. on Arkansas 103.3, 93 KZLE, and other W.R.D. Entertainment stations.