PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Construction on a new Greene County Tech Junior High School building is finished.
The new addition sits on the same grounds the old Greene County Tech High School was built on in 1947.
That building was torn down in 2012, when students moved to the new high school building on Linwood Drive in Paragould.
Greene County School District Superintendent Gene Weeks said 800 students plus faculty will use the new junior high building this upcoming school year.
The new 30,000-square-foot building houses 12 classrooms, four resource classrooms used for smaller classes, a media center, computer lab and four safe rooms.
"It's a little over four and a half million dollars total," Weeks said. "We did it with second lien bonds. We didn't have to go out and pass a millage, so that was good for our people who pay taxes in Greene County."
The district broke ground on the project last summer and have been working on completion since then.
Weeks said they have passed all final inspections, the last thing they have to do is lay sod this week.
Getting around campus was difficult for students due to construction on the new building, but now they'll have a straight path to their classes this year without being exposed to the elements.
"We had classrooms in the old AG facility, we had classrooms in portable buildings and those were set off to the side," Weeks said. "Portable buildings are good when you're growing and you need them but you want real classrooms and real structures when you can. I think kids do better when they come in and they're learning in a quality facility."
The new campus also has new energy efficient technology.
"If you leave the classroom or there's no activity in the classrooms or hallways, the sensors in the lights will go out," Weeks said. "Also, the heating and cooling units will be computerized so when there aren't students in the building on weekends or nights, you can reduce your energy usage. That's going to really help us with our utility bills over the life of this building."
Weeks said every GCT campus will have those capabilities this upcoming school year.
The district is hosting a meet and greet in July for visitors to tour the new facility, with an open house in August before school starts.
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