LAKE CITY, AR (KAIT) - For the past couple of years, you may have noticed the new school going up on Highway 18 in Lake City. Now, with the opening day of school less than a month away, we are going to get a sneak peak at the building.
Superintendent Tommy Knight says the 90,000 square foot building will house grades 7 through 12. It will have new science labs for both the junior and senior high wings, and each classroom will have Smart technology in addition to a new gym capable of seating 1,200.
For most communities, building a new school is quite a rare thing.
Knight, "It's really once in a lifetime kind of thing. The last new building here was West Elementary which was about 25 years ago I believe." Many of the school buildings were built in the 50's and 60's. Some were originally built in the 40's and are still used.
Even though it seemed like it took forever to get the school built, Project Manager Keith Chunn from Tate Construction says they are on schedule for the August first deadline.
Chunn, "Today is July 15th and by next Friday we should be packed up, cleaned up and gone."
The building is 9 thousand square feet and will host grades 7 through 12. Knight says the school is also designed to accommodate community activities and will hopefully act as a magnet for Lake City.
We stood in one of 3 new science lab/classrooms. Knight, "We think it will be a draw to the community and draw people to the community."
The classrooms aren't quite finished yet. Very soon they will be installing Smart Boards, document cameras, Front Row sound systems and 4 computers per classroom.
The cathedral-like central hallway has a definite "wow" factor to it. I asked Knight if any students had seen it yet.
Knight, "It wasn't quite to this degree of completion when they went through. But some have been through and they are very thrilled."
Chunn says the new state of the art building, should last a long while at least a half a century till it will need replacing again.
Chunn, "From the heat and air system to the lighting controls to the plumbing fixtures. It's going to have a long life span without a lot of maintenance up through those 50 years."
One part of the school that is drawing a lot of interest is the new gym. The brand new floor is wide enough for two P.E. games and there is an upper deck that could be used for weights of an extra classroom.
Knight says in the master building plan for the district they're hoping to again partner up with the state to build another new school
Knight, "Build a new elementary school on out East Campus in Caraway. And have that elementary school a building to be proud of over there."
In just a matter of weeks the empty halls will be filled with students excited about their new school. They should have something to be very proud of.
Knight, "I'm very proud of it. The community has needed a new facility for some time. And I think we got our money's worth out of it."