Renovations To Southside High School Kicks Off With Groundbreaking Ceremony

FORT SMITH, Ark. (TB&P) — Members of the Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education along with district administrators and local dignitaries gathered Monday (Oct. 28) afternoon on the front lawn of Southside High school to break ground on the first phase of a $35 million, multi-phase construction project for the school.

“After months of careful planning, we are excited to kick off these transformative construction and renovation projects at Southside High School. We want to thank members of the Southside community in advance for their patience as we begin to ‘turn dirt’ in the process of completing this important work,” said Dr. Doug Brubaker, FSPS superintendent.

The construction project, which will change the look of the high school significantly, are expected to take 20 months. Workers with Turn Key Construction Management have started fencing the western side of the Southside campus to protect students and the community during the construction period, a media release said. With the assistance of the FSPS Police Department, school officials will reroute traffic patterns with new drop-off and pick up points for parents and bus traffic effective Monday.

Parents and visitors can access the main building and office through the doors on the east side of the building between the music department and the current gym. Parents may drop students off and pick them up at points in traffic lanes routed through the east parking lots. Bus lanes will be routed through the west parking lots. Students riding a bus will be dropped off near the indoor activity center. Access points will likely change as different phases of the overall project are completed between now and the expected completion date in August 2021, the news release said.

The SHS project will include a 12-classroom freshman center addition and new competition gym with seating for at least 2,300 and an integrated storm shelter, along with a new standalone storm shelter, cafeteria renovation, media center renovation, new administrative office addition and possible South Gym renovation with a construction budget of $35 million.

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