NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - The prep work for much a needed renovation project is underway at Newport High School. School officials are using the last bit of government stimulus money to give the school a fresh look and hope the changes make the school more inviting to students and facility.
"We're getting a much needed facelift and we're very excited," said Newport High School Principal Becky Watkins. She says renovations have been a long time coming. "Walking through the building here. You know, I think about the years that I went to school here. Everything is pretty much the same. I can't remember any major changes, and I celebrated my 30th reunion this summer," said Watkins.
Construction crews have already started the prep work, removing window sill and trimming around classrooms. All getting ready to give the school a new look, which will include new carpets, tiles, fresh paint, update doors to make then handicap assessable
"The door knobs still have the knobs on them. So we're going to be replacing these with handles that are easier to use," said Watkins.
Watkins says they will also replace all the exterior walls. "This is the damage that we have (as she points to a patched up hole in the wall) and this is small compared to some of our other locations," said Watkins. Spackle was used on several places where holes were given a temporary fix. "Because of the age of this wall it's become very brittle almost like sand," she said.
Watkins says they've worked on the paper work to since around January and are just now able to move forward. Because the remaining stimulus money has to be used by December, renovations have to be completed quickly, which means construction will take place during school hours. She says students and facility will have to adjust.
"Our hope is to be able to move students from one wing to another location. So when construction actually moves in and goes into complete renovation that students are not having to access to that area," said Watkins.
She says for those who want to follow the renovations as they move forward the architect involved in the project has a facebook page to track the progress. If you're interested, just go to http://www.facebook.com/#!/CahoonSteiling.Studio.Architecture