Leader Blues

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

NEIGHBORS >> From the ground up

By SARA GREENE
Leader staff writer

he end of school might seem a long way off, but teachers at Cabot High School are already preparing to move into the new 191,015-square-foot high school building as soon as classes let out for summer.

“Right now the only classrooms we’ve assigned are science because of the locations of the science labs on the second floor,” said Tony Thurman, principal of Cabot High School.

“We’ll be assigning classrooms in March.”

Classrooms in the two-storied, V-shaped building will be arranged to support the district’s six career academies of agriculture, science and mechanics; business, finance and information technology; construction, engineering and automotive technology; health and human services; education, law and public service, and fine arts, journalism and communications.

Thurman said he is expecting about 1,800 students in the fall. The building was designed so 20 additional classrooms can easily be added to handle future student growth.

The $13.9 million building is on the northwest side of the campus, facing Hwys. 89 and 38.
Buses will load and unload at the rear of the building, facing Champs Hall.

The school district is installing a long turn lane on Hwy. 89 so parents can turn into the campus to drop students off at the front of the building without delaying traffic. Students who drive will use an entrance on Hwy. 38.

Thurman said students will get the most use out of the centrally located media center. In addition to library books and comfortable furniture for lounging, the media center will house two computer labs with 25 computers each. There will be an Arkansas History room, study carrels or quiet rooms, as well as a teacher resource room with professional periodicals.

Another feature of the building that will interest teachers is the four resource rooms equipped with kitchenettes, copiers, computers and teleconference equipment.

“The teachers won’t have to come to the main office on the first floor except to check their mailboxes,” Thurman said.
Teachers and students alike will get a lot of use out of the professional-development center says Thurman.

It will have state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment for staff meetings or guest speakers for classes.

“Right now the only place we really have for staff meetings is the cafeteria and the acoustics are terrible,” Thurman said.