Valley View Growing Pains

January 11, 2008 - Posted at 4:03 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Jonesboro's award winning Valley View School District is one of the fastest growing in the state.  The district's enrollment is expected to have an 8% growth increase by the 2008-2009 school year. With so many's no wonder the campus is starting to feel growing pains.

"We are utilizing every square inch of property that we have, we are utilizing every cubby hole of every building that we have," said Superintendent Dr. Radius Baker.

Growth in south Jonesboro added with the recognized success of Valley View School District has left the 140 acre campus searching for space for students.  A new 101,000 square foot elementary building now houses nearly 700 students.

"The reason we built that building is because of the growth," said Dr. Baker, "I think we have 18 classrooms in portable building presently and building this building would alleviate those classrooms."

Valley View graduated 111 seniors last year, but Dr. Bakes estimates that the district is on track to graduate classes of more than 200 in the next few years.

The intermediate school is scheduled to move into the old elementary building, the junior high into the intermediate and the high school into the existing junior high...and a new junior high building is being considered.

"We've tried to be proactive instead of reactive and we're trying to make sure we are doing something that can benefit the community and the students and our educational process and in doing a junior high building we think it will," said Dr. Baker.

If the building is approved, it would have to be completed by 2011 to keep up with the current enrollment rate.

"We think that we will continue to grow. We think people are looking in this area in order that they can attend Valley View School and we think we have some good things to offer," said Dr. Baker.

Valley View has also had to increase their faculty in order to keep up with the growing student population.  The districts has hired 30 personnel in the last two years and are now looking to fill four to six new positions for the next school year.