School district working to finish upgrades before new year

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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HIGHLAND, Ark. (KAIT) - A school district in Northeast Arkansas is working on wrapping up renovation projects, just in time for the new school year.

The Highland School District made plans this past Spring to renovate the Cherokee Elementary School and add to the Highland Middle School.

“We were staging materials throughout the spring so that we could be ready to go the day school was out because we knew it was going to be a tight window,” said Superintendent Jeremy Lewis.

The window gets tighter by the minute, as teachers report to school in early August and kids enter the classroom on Aug. 15.

Lewis said the work is on time and should be done soon.

“We hope to be through the last week of July, so our custodial staff can get in there and do the things that we need to do to make sure our teachers have enough time to get back in there and get their classrooms ready for the start of school,” he explained.

Cherokee Elementary will see new technology, floors, ceilings, windows, and a fresh coat of paint, while the middle school will see an addition to the cafeteria, as well as a storage facility for food.

Lewis also said the school is paying for the multi-million dollar project from several school mills and ESSER funds, adding he wants stakeholders to be proud of what they have.

“We always want to make sure that we are conscientious with our taxpayer’s money, and our board does a fantastic job of that.,” Lewis said.

The project is expected to cost about $9 million.

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