Marmaduke High School Finally Gets to Grow.

JONESBORO - The Region 8 town of Marmaduke continues to rebuild after tornadoes ravaged the area nearly two years ago.

The tornado put building plans at the Marmaduke High School on hold, but today they started moving dirt for a new expansion.

"We de grass and push the moisture off of course like were doing now. And get it solid enough where we can put a fill on it. Where we can go compacting it. "

Those words from Randall Lawson from Michelles Excavating in Paragould, sum up the activity today at the site of the new wing for the Marmaduke High School.

This project has been in the works since before the tornado in 2006.

Tim Gardner, Superintendent, Marmaduke schools, "Well actually it was planned prior to the tornado that occurred a couple of years ago. The high school was over crowded at that point and we're still overcrowded to a degree. "

And the recent rains have slowed this project down but today the sun shined.

Lawson, "Yes sir it's slowed us down some, but with the sun shining on it we can get back to work on it."

Since this was the site of the temporary modular classrooms used after the tornado damaged the school, much of the earth work has already been done.

Gardner, "When they moved the modulars in a lot of it was done at that time. So dirt work here is gonna go pretty quickly. "

The new wing, which will mainly be used for Seniors, will house a business lab and other much-needed class room and office space.

Gardner, " A science lab, a home ec lab, all of our administrative offices will move to the new edition and then four extra classrooms."

It's a time of great growth for the Marmaduke school system. Besides the new senior wing they're going to build a new elementary PE building, and a new softball field and and a new baseball field, those expected to be ready for play in the spring.

Besides freeing up space in the old building the new wing and other school projects will serve to attract new families to the town and school .

Gardner, "We hope to get several new folks to come into the community and decide to enroll their students here at marmaduke. We're real proud of the new wing were gonna build and think its gonna enhance our school to a great degree. "

And are the students excited about the new expansion? Well sort of.

Gardner, "They seem to be fairly excited about it, they've kinda got Christmas on they're minds right now."

But with the turning of the earth, perhaps recovery is over and progress has come again to the Marmaduke schools. Gardner is hopeful that once American Railcar Industries completes it's expansion new families will be again moving to marmaduke and filling up those new classrooms

Gardner, "Everybody's ready to get it going and hopefully it'll be done and completed ready for us to move in by next school year."