February 26th, 2019
FORT SMITH- A recent property donation to the city’s school district will be redeveloped, providing new opportunities for students in Fort Smith.
A 181,710 square foot building on a 16.69 parcel from the Estate of William L. Hutcheson will be redeveloped as the school district’s new Career and Technology Center. The Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education voted to accept the donation at its regular meeting on February 25th, 2019.
“This generous gift will enable generations of our kids to develop the ‘viable plan, applicable skill set and creativity’ called for in our Vision 2023 Strategic Plan,” said Susan McFerran, President of the Fort Smith School Board.
The district will no longer have to spend the $3 million dollars that was originally budgeted for the purchase of a building in their capital improvement plan.
The Career and Technology Center, which was included in the district’s Vision 2023 Capital Improvement Plan approved by Fort Smith and Barling voters in its May 2018 millage referendum, will provide focused education and training in specialty areas such as information technology, health care, and advanced manufacturing within the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) disciplines. The millage proposal specified that an existing building would be renovated.
The donated facility, which was formerly the home of Hutcheson Shoes, is located at the intersection of Zero and Painter Lane in Fort Smith. District leaders noted that its size and excellent condition are two of the qualities that make it a great match for this project. “This will be a fantastic site for our CTC,” said FSPS Superintendent Dr. Doug Brubaker. “It’s been very well maintained. We could not be more excited about this,” he said.
Dr. Brubaker added, “We are very grateful to the Estate of William L. Hutcheson, Jr., for this tremendous gift to the students and future of Fort Smith. This donation will accelerate our efforts to create a premier CTC that will provide students with the resources and needed to develop career goals as well as the knowledge, skills, and creativity that they will need to achieve them. This facility will also serve as a laboratory for the development of innovative and engaging instructional strategies in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math, which will have a positive impact on the educational experiences of all FSPS students for many years to come.”
Story courtesy of Fort Smith Public School System