Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

TOP STORY >> Annexation would add on to Cabot

By SARA GREENE
Leader staff writer

The Cabot School District is working with residents in the area of Campground and Stagecoach roads to have the area annexed into the city limits in order for sewer lines to be extended to the proposed site of a new $6 million elementary school. Cabot will not extend sewer services beyond the city limits.

The district’s plan to spend $200,000 to purchase 20.1 acres from Harlan and Carolyn Sanders is contingent on neighboring property owners agreeing to be annexed into the city limits.

“The residents in that area are aware of the advantages of being in the city such as water, sewer, police and fire services,” said Jim Dalton, assistant superintendent for the district. “We’re putting together information on what restrictions they would face in the city limits. None of them have said ‘no’ but we won’t approach the city for sewer services until we file the annexation papers.”

The district currently has seven elementary schools, two middle schools, two junior highs and a nearly completed $13 million high school.

Based on enrollment trends from the past five years, the district, which now has a student population of 8,400, is projected to grow to 10,902, according to Dalton.

In other school business, the district is seeking a $1 million grant from the Arkansas De-partment of Education for an Early Childhood education program at Northside Elementary.

If approved, the grant will be used to fund classes for 4-year-olds as well as before- and after-school programs.

The district already has early childhood education programs in place at Westside Elementary and Ward Central Elementary such as playgroups for 3- to 5-year-olds, computer instruction, library access and tutoring in math, literacy and science. Board members Brooks Nash and Wendel Msall were recognized for receiving their certification from the Arkansas School Board Association (ASBA).

The ASBA requires that all school board members have at least nine hours of training. Msall and Nash have completed more than 15 hours of training.