Dragon Strong Community

Superintendent's Update - February, 2021 - Strong Futures

Sharing the Vision

February 4, 2021

Dear Dragon Community,

I am excited to share a vision for the future of our schools. After a thorough process of needs assessment, faculty, staff, and community input, and work with the Education Department's facilities division, architects, and construction managers, the District has developed a proposed facilities construction and renovation project.

The Mountainburg Board of Education approved motions in January to approve a proposed millage election to be on the ballot for voters on May 18, 2021. The District is requesting to extend the existing 14.1 mills through 2051, and 4.9 new debt mills through 2051. The new millage will be 44.0 mills.

If approved, the district will construct a new all-purpose arena including a gymnasium, band room, and stage, as well as renovating the Middle School/High School cafeteria, and constructing, refurbishing, remodeling and equipping other school facilities.

Details about school needs, the proposed projects, and millage information are provided below. We will also offer many public meetings and virtual meetings to share information and address questions.

It is a promising and exciting time as we plan to address present and future needs, the future of our schools, and for future generations of Dragons.


Dr. Debbie Atwell


Needs - Why are the new facilities and renovations necessary?

Mountainburg Public School’s facilities are aging and the District must plan for improvements for future generations. In order to compete, we must provide state-of-the-art facilities, technologies, and innovative programs for our students.

Construction dates of our buildings:

  • Old Main 1935

  • Cafeteria 1967

  • Carl Rogers Gymnasium 1975

  • Music Room 1981

  • Science Building 1986

  • Agri Lab 1989

Through a comprehensive process of facilities committee work, tours, inspections, and consultations with architects and construction groups, the following program and renovation needs have been identified:

  • Band Room

  • Stage/Performance Venue for Large Audiences

  • Gym - expanded seating, AC, and fitness stations

  • Aging facilities - need upgrades, repairs & renovation

    • Old Main - subflooring

    • Cafeteria - wall/roof structures, insulation, refrigeration, storage, & servery

    • Gym - AC, Seating, flooring, sewage, & moisture

    • Science labs - fume hood/sinks/water/gas

    • Agri lab - welding/ventilation

    • Security/lighting/drainage

Proposed All-purpose Arena

If approved, the district will construct a new all-purpose arena to be located on the MHS campus behind Old Main, and include a gymnasium, band room, and stage.

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All-purpose Arena

The proposed Arena includes a 1,000 seat capacity large audience venue for sporting events, concerts, pageants, stage performances, graduation ceremonies, etc.
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Band Room

The proposed Arena includes a band room with double-height ceilings and acoustical panels, offices, and instrument storage.
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Cafeteria Renovation

If approved, the project will include renovating the Middle School/High School cafeteria including additional storage and refrigeration and an upgraded servery. The proposed project also allows the opportunity for renovations and upgrades in the subflooring in the Old Main building, science labs, welding stations and ventilation, and improvements with security, lighting, and drainage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the proposed election?

The 2021 Election will be May 18, 2021.

What is Mountainburg’s current school millage rate?

The current school millage rate is set at 39.10.

What is the request during the election?

The District is requesting to extend the existing 14.1 debt mills through 2051, and requesting 4.9 new debt mills through 2051. With the proposed increase, the school millage rate would be 44.0 mills.

What is the purpose of the $10,310,000 Refunding and Construction bond issue?

The bond proceeds will be used for refunding the District's outstanding bonded indebtedness; construction of a new all-purpose arena on the High School campus to include a gymnasium, a band room, and a stage; renovating the Middle School/High School Cafeteria, constructing; refurbishing, remodeling, and equipping other school facilities.

How long has it been since an increase was requested?

Voters approved the last increase in 2003, and extended the millage in 2013.

When would the project start and be completed?

If approved in May, the design and bidding phase usually takes six months, with construction beginning in December 2021 and likely 18-20 month completion, for completion in the summer of 2023.

Who votes in this election?

All registered voters residing in the Mountainburg School District, both IN city and OUT.

What is the amount of Real Estate Tax due on the proposed 44.0 mill, and what is the difference per year and per month from the current 39.1 total mills?

The appraised value of real estate is much lower than the actual market value. The assessed value is 20% of appraised value times mills. For example: a home with an appraised value of $100,000 would assess for $20,000 and see an increase of $98.00 per year, or $8.17 per month.

How much will the increase cost the average taxpayer?

The average appraised market value for parcels in the district is $40,847, with a 20% assessed value of $8,169. The average increase in taxes per parcel is $40.00 per year, or $3.33 per month.

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How can I learn more about the projects?

Public Meetings, along with virtual meetings, to learn more about the projects. Dates and locations will be announced soon. Contact the Admin office at 479-369-2121 for more information.

How can I support the proposed projects?

Community members are leading a Dragon Strong Futures Committee.

Contact dragonstrongfutures@gmail.com to volunteer for the committee, make donations for materials, etc.

A Strong Futures Committee Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb 18 at 6:00 at the Mountainburg First Assembly of God Church fellowship hall for anyone who wants to volunteer to assist.

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Leading Dragon Strong

  • Honor our History through Values and Traditions
  • Build our present through Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Create our future through Creativity and Innovation

Dr. Debbie Atwell is serving her third year as superintendent. She and husband Roger are MHS graduates, life long residents of the community, and are owned by dogs Woodrow & Sadie.