Marked Tree schools getting upgrades

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MARKED TREE, Ark. — Big changes are coming to two schools in Poinsett County, as Marked Tree's elementary school gets some upgrades and the high school gets a major tune up.

It comes after residents there signed off on a tax increase for improvements of the 70-year-old high school.

District Superintendent Matt Wright knows the building well. He's an alumnus.

"I walked these hallways, some of my close friends walked these hallways, and it's time and it's needed," Wright said.

Bittersweet as it is, one of the biggest upgrades to this multi-million dollar facelift is safety, which includes cutting down on the number of entrances into the school."

"Less entrances, we're gonna have a key card entry system for educators, all the doors will lock at the same time and so its just reducing some of that accessibility to the kids, that is the thing I am most excited about," he said.

Several months ago, Wright said, the public signed off on a property tax increase to make the drastic changes to the school. He says it passed with overwhelming support.

Combined with state funds, the upgrades will cost around $10 million.

"Currently at the high school we're going to tear down a portion of our building that is 70 years old and we're going to replace our band room, our choir room, and our art room along with some science labs and our principal's office."

The elementary school will also get new wings, a storm shelter and cafeteria.

"In terms of tornado shelters a lot of schools in the area have them and we desperately need one," Wright said.

The area excited for the upcoming changes to the schools.

"In a small community it is the focus of the community."



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