The first day of school is just three weeks away, and while students are preparing, the Springdale School District is hard at work, putting the finishing touches on their newest school.
Sonora Middle School is the district’s fourth middle school, making the grand total of schools within the district, 26.
Construction projects, empty hallways, and blank bookshelves fill the building.
The name of the new middle school is not set in stone, however, Rick Schaeffer with the Springdale School District said.
"'Sonora Middle School' is what we are calling it right now, there is still some possibility that we could have a naming rights change before the school opens but probably, it is going to be Sonora Middle School," said Schaeffer.
School administrators say there is a definite need for the new school.
"Because of over-crowdedness at our other middle schools, the Springdale School District is the fastest growing district in the state of Arkansas,” Schaeffer said. “We are the second largest district in the state of Arkansas."
Project manager Warren Wheat said the school was built to hold up to 1,000 students. Only 720 are enrolled, giving current students more space when they return this fall.
"Here at the middle school, they will be able to store their books and gym clothes and lunch and all of their personal items individually in their own locker," Wheat said.
The school is divided into two pods, one for the 6th grade and the other for the 7th.
The new school will be filled with the latest technology.
"The newer the school, the more 'good' technology that you're going to get,” Schaeffer said. “We will have Promethean Boards in every classroom, those are the interactive whiteboards, we are going to have computers in our classrooms, and we will have computer labs and computers in the libraries."
The 136,000 square foot school is expected to be finished by the time school starts on August 20.
Based on the current growth rate, enrollment for the Springdale School District is expected to increase 700 students per year.
The Springdale School District is in the process of building another junior high on Hylton Road.
That school, tentatively named Hylton Junior High, should be finished by the fall of 2013.