Construction underway on new Valley Springs High School building

Published: Aug. 9, 2019 at 2:13 PM CDT
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The construction project for the new Valley Springs high school building just started this week, but it was quite a journey to get to this point.

Albright Hall and the Old Main Building on Valley Springs campus are not up to state standards.

"Both buildings are just, well they're old, and they require a lot of maintenance. And it's time we have a modern high school for our students here at Valley," said Chris Graddy, the Valley Springs School Board president.

The school needed a makeover and help to do it.

Back in 2017, the school district tried to pass a property tax increase that would help pay for a new high school building, and other improvements on campus, like a new elementary school roof and a softball field.

"Lost by 14 votes," Superintendent Judy Green said.

But they tried again last year.

"We realized that we did not work hard enough to get the correct information out to the community," Green said.

And this time around, it passed.

Both the superintendent and the school board president said they are very grateful and thankful to the community for passing the property tax increase to benefit students and their futures.

The property tax increase will raise close to $7 million.

"If we had not passed the millage we would've lost our partnership funds with the Department of Division in Little Rock," Green said.

That's about $2 million from the state.

And now work has started on the new high school building. But school for Valley starts Thursday, and not only is the district dealing with the building construction project:

"We're very concerned about the traffic on Highway 65 and the safety of our parents and students," Green said.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation has been working on a portion of Highway 65 that leads up to the school.

"I've reached out to the Arkansas State Police and the Boone County Sheriff's Department, and we are in the process of working on an action plan before next Thursday. And we will be releasing some of the information out to the parents at open house, and through our Facebook page," Green said.

The superintendent said the high school building is expected to be done by August of 2020, so this time next year high school students will be learning in a new building.

Albright Hall will have to be torn down, but Old Main will be an administration building.