Possible Changes Coming to the MHHS Campus

Virtual+depiction+of+the+renovation+plans

Virtual depiction of the renovation plans

Makayla Kellem, Reporter/Photographer

Since 1966, the Mountain Home High School campus has been experienced and appreciated by generations of students. Recently, Superintendent, Dr. Long has evaluated the long-term needs of students and has created a plan for possible renovations.

The current approach would be a two-phase process. Phase one would be the demolition of the current standing office section of the school and the construction of a new two-story building. Phase two would be the demolition and reconstruction of the oldest parts of the school, from the cafeteria to the library.  

Phase one has been shown to include 32 classrooms, 2,800 square feet of administrative space for staff, new sets of restrooms, a 5,000 square foot library, a 12,800 square foot cafeteria, an elevator, and a 3,900 square foot kitchen space.

All of the building plans were configured and drawn through Modus Studio, an architectural firm located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The estimated cost for phase one alone is projected to hit roughly $20.9 million. 

Phase two would include 3,200 square feet of administrative space, 12 classrooms, 4,500 square feet of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps space, 13,000 square feet of multipurpose space, a 6,200 square foot wrestling gymnasium, a 4,200 square foot dance studio, and two full locker rooms for basketball and physical education.

The estimated cost for phase two is another $20 million.

Superintendent Dr. Long elaborated in WINGS magazine, “As we have created these pathway opportunities for our students, it has become apparent that our current facilities at the high school will need to be adjusted to accommodate these programs. Our students need spaces that foster creativity and problem solving while exposing them to innovative opportunities.”

The Mountain Home Observer also quoted Dr. Long, “If you look down from the metal roofline, the original building exists underneath that line. So, the why and the need is the aging essential bones of that original building. That’s everything from plumbing and electrical. All of that is original and exists underneath there. It’s functional on a daily basis until something happens until we have to jackhammer it out and fix it.”

Currently, the school board is brainstorming a method to renovate the school while classes and programs stay in session. A millage vote needs to take place for the confirmation of this presented plan, meaning there is still a chance that it may not go through or could experience further alterations.

Meetings were held in the CAB conference room and cafeteria to see how students or staff feel regarding the ideas displayed. Many students were able to express their concerns and motivations for the new building by asking questions and openly discussing plans.

One student from the CAB meeting expressed concern stating, “I think that school should be a place that students can come to and be comfortable. Having places like lounges or hangouts for us to relax would motivate students to come to school more often.”

Another student commented, “The bathrooms have become a place that is hard to get to. Kids throw napkins and trash everywhere and it’s always nasty. I think if we had nicer bathrooms maybe it would prevent students from messing them up.”

Further meetings will take place in the future regarding the plans listed above, as well as the millage vote taking place.