August 19, 2004 -- Posted at 10:54 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO -- It's hard to believe that Jonesboro high school could do such extensive renovations in a matter of months.
Steve Ewart, Director for Secondary Education said, "This is a project that has been waiting to be done for several years and we finally with a restructure of funds got there where withal to do it. We also got a plan developed, that was something that the high school staff was very enthusiastic about."
And finally, JHS's extreme makeover is finished.
"The whole west center of the building is completely renovated, new heating and air conditioning systems," said Ewart.
Director of Building and Grounds Clint Byard said, "Here at the high school, we've got approximately $1.7 million dollars of renovations going on, and this includes a mechanical renovation, which includes a large portion of the building converted to geothermal heating and cooling system."
So what exactly do you get for about $2 million dollars when you give a high school a face-lift?
"The media center has been gutted. We're dropping the ceilings, putting in new lighting, heating and air and mechanical systems. It's a total revamp," said Byard.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Sue Castleberry said, "With new construction and renovation the rooms are larger. They're better, better insulated. As far as spirit, I can tell you that having a new heating and cooling system at the high school is going to be tremendously positive."
And remember those 38,000 books? Well, they found a home in the new library.
"Things have really taken shape in the last few weeks. Clint Byars, our supervisor and director for building and maintaince worked ten to twelve hours a day just to get things cleaned up after construction was finished," said Ewart.
So when classes start later today, some new surprises for students.
"It's real neat to see effective change take place and it be a much more opportune place for facility to work and bring our students in. they are going to be the ones who are best served," said Ewart, "Everything's done, we're ready and waiting on kids."