Harmony Grove Cardinals

During the first day of early voting in the Harmony Grove School District Special Election, 41 people cast their ballots Tuesday. 

Early voting will continue from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today through Jan. 10 and Jan. 13 at the Benton Vote Center, located at 221 N. Main St. in Benton. Voting on election day, Jan. 14, will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Haskell Fire Department, located at 121 Cardinal Dr. 

School officials are coming to voters in hopes of increasing the millage rate by 2.8 mills. If the increase is approved, the district's rate will be set at 44.6 mills. 

This is the second time district officials have pursued a millage increase in the past six months. The initial attempt at raising the millage in September failed with a vote of 188-172.

With money generated from the proposed increase, as well as $2.6 million in partnership funds from the state, the district hopes to build a 35,000-square-foot addition. 

This addition will include nine classrooms, science labs, a media center, library, principal's office, nurses' station, resource classrooms, band and choir rooms, as well as areas for students who need various forms of therapy. 

This addition is designed to accommodate an estimated 10 years of growth, said Superintendent Heath Bennett.

To make room for the addition, a building that currently houses band and choir rooms and the in-school suspension room will be demolished. 

As well as the addition, the district plans to make improvements to solve flooding issues and to add security measures including safety doors across the district, Bennett said.

More information about the proposed millage increase, as well as proposed plans for the addition are available on the Harmony Grove School District Facebook page. 

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