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Farmington schools to receive $6.3 million for construction

by Lynn Kutter | May 9, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

FARMINGTON -- The School District will move forward with all its plans for an addition to the junior high school now that state money has been approved for the project, said Jon Laffoon, superintendent of schools.

The Commission for Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation approved $6.3 million in state money for demolition costs and for an addition to the junior high during its April 29 meeting in Little Rock.

In all, the commission approved $77 million for 24 school districts for construction projects on 32 campuses in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The School District is proposing to build additions in two locations at the junior high school: a two-story building at the location of the former old high school gym, now demolished, and a second addition at the site of the old "H" Hall.

The district also is proposing to add six classrooms and bathrooms to Folsom and Williams elementary schools. Farmington did not receive any state money for those construction projects.

The district will pay for the projects using $16.5 million in refunding and construction bonds and the $6.3 million in state money.

Joe McClung, junior high principal, said the additions to the school will help meet a need to get all students under one roof.

"There are a lot of flaws in the layout of our campus because we are so wide open," McClung said.

Students travel to five buildings during a school day, McClung said, adding the goal is to get as many students as possible under one roof and to reduce the number of students who have to cross Double Springs Road.

The junior high needs a new special education room, updated science labs and an updated choir room, McClung said. The construction project will give the school the opportunity to make these updates, in addition to other improvements, he said.

Plans show the two-story building will have about 26,000 square feet and 13 classrooms, including specialty classrooms for science classes and special education. The second addition will provide three classrooms for band, art and choir. The band room will be a larger multi-purpose room with a stage.

"We're excited to get the project rolling," McClung said.

Lynn Kutter may be reached by email at lkutter@nwadg.com.

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