HAMBURG, Ark.—The people of this rural town in southeastern Arkansas will be the first to tell you there aren’t many jobs here, but thanks to the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) there have been more jobs lately. More than $1 million in federal stimulus funding has gone into the local schools, Superintendent Max Dyson told us this afternoon.
At Hamburg High School, that investment has meant better lighting in the library’s media center and hallways, new exterior doors and a camera system to improve campus security. To students, the best improvement has been the ARRA-funded upgrades to the school’s bathrooms.
“Kids take care of something that’s nice,” Dyson said. “If they know you took time to improve it, they’re going to be nice to it.”
Hamburg High was built in 1972, an era of flat roofs in school construction. With money from a local school bond, the roof is being raised and replaced, and new classrooms and science labs are being added so that 9th graders can move over from the middle school campus.
These improvement projects have meant work for local contractors in Ashley County, Dyson said, including some with family members in Hamburg’s schools.
“We’ve done a lot with the stimulus money, and we think we would not have been able to have done it if we had not had the money,” Superintendent Dyson said. “Did stimulus money work? Yes, yes, it did.”
Office of Communications & Outreach