Board approves property purchase for district’s future use

The Conway Board of Education approved Conway Public Schools to purchase property for $60,000 located at 3261 Donnell Ridge in Conway during its regular meeting Tuesday.

Assistant Superintendent Carroll Bishop said the property — located close to Old Military Road near Carolyn Lewis Elementary — is part of an area of land the district previously purchased for a future use.

“Back a few years ago, we were lucky enough to purchase around 63 acres on Donnell Ridge and Mattison Road and there was a couple of pieces to that puzzle, or pie, that was owned by separate people,” he said. “We have an opportunity now to purchase approximately 2.58 acres and at a very good price of $60,000 and us pay the closing cost, which should be under $2,000.”

Bishop said the property — previously owned by Joseph Beckman who passed it on to his children when he died — came up for sale and the district recognized that. He said that property is connected to the land the school owns and currently has a rundown, hazardous house that the district will tear down.

“We were lucky to get that for the school district for the future,” Bishop said. “There’s a lot of useful acreage … it’s fairly flat after you get off that ridge.”

While purchasing the land would give the district choices and more possibilities, he said it still has a couple more pieces that would need to be bought in the future that would allow them to own every piece of the puzzle.

During the meeting, the new director of personnel, Karen Lasker, and the new director of programs and professional development, Renee Bennett, were recognized. Lasker will replace Dianne Allen and Bennett will take Debbie Bunting’s place at the end of the year when the pair retire from the district.

“First of all, I just want to say, I am extremely grateful and excited for just having the opp,” Lasker said. “I’d like to thank the board, Dr. Murry and these directors for having confidence in me to do a job like this. I’d especially like to thank Mrs. Allen for having the shoulders for me to stand on. There’s no way I can fill her shoes, that’s impossible, I’m just going to try to do my best.”

The board also:

• Approved one student transfer from Vilonia Public Schools to the Conway School District.
 

 

• Approved four resignations and three new hires to the district.

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