Dirt flies for new school

By GAYLE COULTER State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Dirt flew in the air Friday morning from about 150 spoons held by Bald Knob Elementary School students.

It signified a rare moment in Bald Knob history - the groundbreaking ceremony for a new school to replace the old Bald Knob School built in the 1930s.

"These kids will remember this all of their lives," said Monte Chance, superintendent for Franklin County Public Schools, as he watched the students playing in the dirt with their spoons.

The future site looked pretty much like the middle of a dew-covered field Friday morning, flanked by farmland between Devil's Hollow Access Road and Pea Ridge Road.

"It will be a beautiful setting," Chance said. "Parents and teachers can come in from Pea Ridge and buses will come in from Devil's Hollow."

It will also be a much larger school. The current student enrollment at Bald Knob is 168, Chance said, whereas the school, scheduled to open in the fall of 2004, will accommodate between 470 and 500 students.

"This will also help students at Bridgeport and Collins Lane," Chance said. "Redistricting (for the new school) will lessen the load at the other two schools that are beyond capacity. Not many districts are able to build new school after new school. We're just lucky we're in the financial situation where we can."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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