In 1982, Cedar Ridge School District received good news when the state’s largest electric utility, Entergy-Arkansas, announced plans to build its new power plant within the school district. The effect of the new project on the district’s assessment was tremendous: over the course of the next five years, Cedar Ridge went on a construction spree, building state-of-the-art high school, athletic, and elementary facilities.
Then came the historic Lakeview ruling of 2002, which forever changed the formula by which Arkansas public schools are funded. Cedar Ridge was forced to lean its operations, leaving little room in the budget for preventive maintenance and capital expenses. “We have Cadillac equipment with a Hyundai budget,” said Superintendent Andy Ashley, who was hired in July 2015.
Entegrity was asked in February 2016 to conduct an extensive review of district facilities. After completing the assessment, Entegrity and the district agreed to a $2.6 million project that featured a new cooling tower, boiler, pumps, and controls at the high school; bulk replacement of HVAC equipment at the largest elementary school in the district; and comprehensive upgrades to the district’s water and lighting fixtures. The financed costs of these improvements were covered by Entegrity’s guarantee to the district that annual savings would exceed annual debt service.
This project is currently in the construction phase through June of 2017.