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Badger Stadium turf project inches closer to completion in time for home game

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

The Arkadelphia Board of Education held a light meeting Tuesday, mostly discussing the new turf project at Badger Stadium and putting the finishing touches on the student handbook.

With a full quorum present, school board members learned that the turf should be finished in time for the 2022 football season. Jimmy King, director of support services, told the school board that he anticipates the crew to wrap up the project by Aug. 29, the Monday before the first home game against Hot Springs, on Friday, Sept. 2.

King added the drainage problems on the field have been resolved. He said he observed during recent heavy rainfall that stormwater was exiting behind the bleachers on the visitors side of the field.

There will be no advertisements embedded in the turf as the previous field had. School board president Blake Bell said there will be other advertising placement opportunities, and hinted that any new advertisement would be more visible to the crowd.

As for naming rights, Superintendent Nikki Thomas said administration and AllCare Pharmacy are discussing a new agreement for the latter party to place an $85,000 gift to continue the field’s namesake. Thomas said the district is able to accept a gift for a percentage of the overall financing.

King later told The Arkadelphian that crews have finished the top drainage layer of stone, and the final layer of the company’s patented cushioned drain layer will be installed starting next week. Once that Cushdrain pad has been installed, the turf will be the next and final step. King said his aim is for the Badgers to be able to practice on the field before it’s christened.

Arkadelphia K-12 student handbook adopted

Following some minor revisions to the K-12 student handbook, the school board unanimously adopted the district-wide policies. Arkadelphia High School principal Callie Hunley informed the board of the revisions, which spelled out the range of punishments allowed for student misconduct, that were made since the last meeting.

Board member Kenneth Harris asked about subjectivity between recommending alternative learning environment (ALE) and expulsion. “Where do you draw the line?” Harris asked, noting the handbook says both are an option for certain offenses. Hunley said the parents are involved in that decision, as well as a committee comprised of herself, the assistant principal, and the dean of students. Parents, she said, weigh in on their child’s punishment, with some preferring ALE over expulsion and vice-versa. Ultimately, the decision is in the hands of the committee.

Business students getting new computers

The school board unanimously agreed to a reimbursable purchase of 25 Dell computers for the high school’s business and finance classes. The $21,900 purchase will be reimbursed through a startup grant, according to Thomas.

Asked how many students the computers will benefit, Hunley said there are a “couple” of classes for students interested in business and finance courses.

Perritt at capacity; new kindergarten teacher hired

Following a 20-minute executive session, the school board reconvened in public to announce the hiring of Ashley Reed as a kindergarten teacher at Perritt Primary School.

Because of what appears to be an increased enrollment, Perritt principal Shannon Givens said every classroom at her campus is at capacity.

Open house for all Arkadelphia Public Schools campuses is Thursday, Aug. 11, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The first day of school is Wednesday, Aug. 17.

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