Pea Ridge school traffic to divert to Hazelton
PEA RIDGE — School officials are moving forward preparing for this school year which begins for students on Aug. 14, but also in preparing for the students in years to come.
The board recently presented a request for a millage increase to build a new high school and auditorium on 77 acres on Hayden Road. Voters defeated the request, leaving school officials questioning what to do to meet students’ needs. At the regular School Board meeting July 17 the board approved the purchase of 15 acres of land adjacent to the campuses on the southwest corner of Weston Street and West Pickens Road behind Standing Oaks subdivision. The baseball and softball fields are to be built on that property which will also provide access for a driveway out of the Primary School property onto Hazelton Road alleviating some of the traffic congestion on Weston Street.
“It’s not about football, baseball and basketball, it’s about educating the students,” Jeff Neil, board member, said, after making the motion to purchase the two pieces of property to build new ball fields and reroute traffic from the Primary School to Hazelton Road.
“You eat an elephant one bite at a time,” Ryan Heckman, board member, said referring to the huge questions the board is facing concerning student growth and crowded facilities. “It makes a lot of sense that we’re purchasing that land… it seems like a no brainer for the first step.”
Board members authorized school superintendent Rick Neal to continue negotiations with RLP Developers to trade ball field land for labor on the new ball complex and 20 acres off Hazelton Road.