School board OKs playground upgrade

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Eureka Springs Elementary School students are in for a treat next year.

On Monday night, the Eureka Springs School Board approved an addition to the elementary school playground totaling $90,000. Superintendent Bryan Pruitt said the district is purchasing the equipment using American Rescue Plan funds. The district submitted a request to the state, Pruitt said, asking for additional playground equipment to space students out more when they are playing outside.

“We got almost $2 million of those funds, so that was just one way we could spend it on our kids,” Pruitt said. “We’re hoping to spend quite a bit of that money on our HVAC system, but that means we have to have our architect and engineers approve everything, so that’s a waiting game.”

Bryan Pruitt

Pruitt continued, “On the playground, it’s not. It doesn’t require an architect or engineer, so that’s why we can move faster on that.”

Pruitt said the new playground equipment should be delivered early next year and installed by March.

“That’s our goal, and then the kids can play on that next semester,” Pruitt said. “That way, they can have one more classroom out there at a time and still maintain our social distancing and have more playground for everyone.”

As far as COVID-19 goes, Pruitt said, there are no positive cases at the school and only two quarantined students.

“We’re tickled about that,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt added that the band and choir had a performance recently and did an “awesome job.” Another exciting development, Pruitt said, is that the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club dropped off nearly $10,000 of gifts, toys, clothing and grocery cards at the high school on Friday, Dec. 10. The donations will go to students receiving gifts through the Angel Tree program, Pruitt said.

“We’re going to be giving out toys next week,” Pruitt said.

Also at the meeting, the board accepted the resignations of food service employee Nancy Simler and special education teacher Carol Howell. The board agreed to hire Amanda Bault for a food service employee position. Pruitt said Howell’s position likely won’t be replaced immediately.

“She did part time at the middle school and part time at the high school. We’re advertising for that position. We have a long-term substitute we’re going to put in there for a while,” Pruitt said. “We’ll probably do a long-term substitute and find a teacher for next school year.”

The school board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, in the middle school cafeteria.

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