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Update on the Future of Fayetteville High School

Posted by Alan on September 4, 2008 3:54 PM | Filed in News | Comments (1)

Since the University of Arkansas withdrew the offer of $50 million to purchase the district properties on Stone Street, the Fayetteville Public Schools' administration has turned its efforts to working on recommendations for a new 21st Century High School on the Stone Street properties.  The FPS administration is currently working with the Nabholz construction manager and Crafton Tull architectural firm to focus on a 21st Century model school on the Stone Street property that incorporates all 40 acres, both north and south of Stone Street.

The Board directed the administration to pursue the Morningside properties as recommended by FHS Select Committee II only if a sale was forthcoming.    With no sale, it became clear that the FHS building could not be left vacant to build elsewhere.   The administration will plan the new high school project for one high school to include the 9th grade, as recommended by FHS Select Committee I and approved by the Board.  The district's existing population rate, limited growth, and current state funding cannot support a second high school.   In fact, it is entirely possible that opening a second high school would drive the district into financial distress.  The administration's focus from this point forward will be to work with teams of secondary teachers to refine the following list of desirable elements for a 21st Century School:

  • the 9-12 high school will embrace an evolving new instructional model and create the school as a workplace for 21st century students
  • indoor and outdoor gathering spaces are incorporated into circulation areas; circulation spaces are no longer just hallways
  • courtyards and amphitheaters will create attractive green spaces and gathering spaces
  • new spaces for curriculum-based informal gatherings will be designed as well as multi-use, flexible spaces for student and teacher teaming and instruction
  • vocational spaces will be merged into the design of the main building rather than in a "shop out back"
  • athletic facilities will combine concession stands and extra spaces to gather at half-time
  • emphasis will be placed on a performing arts centers for all kinds of student productions
  • new and adequate spaces will be made for choir and band
  • a new food service model will be based around a food court and more gathering spaces
  • media and technology centers will include spaces designed specifically for e-learning, video and audio production, and internet II access for scientific research
  • all spaces will incorporate a great deal of natural light
  • the new design will provide a highly visible school entrance with large gathering space and a highly visible administrative area
  • easily supervised access points, to control who may enter the building

Click here for a letter Mayor Coody recently sent to Superintendent New and Chancellor Gearhart. (PDF)


Posted by Leverett Archer on September 9, 2008 8:17 AM

In reading on this blog about the desirable elements being considered for FHS as a 21st century school, which sound great, conspicuous by its absence is any reference to alternative learning facilities.
Some in the ALE sometimes feel we are tolerated because we are required by law to be here. I hope this segment of the student population is considered when the plans for this exciting new school are being developed.
Leverett Archer