By Louie Graves
Work on the new K-12 school facility for Mineral Springs actually began Tuesday morning when Superintendent Curtis Turner, Jr., made a call to the architect selected by the school board.
The MS school board unanimously voted for Architecture Plus, a Fort Smith firm, which was one of three firms to make presentations last week to the school board.
During the discussion before the selection vote, board members mentioned concerns for safety of the students, and also an appreciation for the construction not interfering with ongoing school operations.
Supt. Turner said he expected a final construction cost to be $13-15 million. Board member Mike Erwin said he remembered the architect predicted a high-end cost of $165 per sq. ft., and low-end estimates of $138.
After board members expressed their personal preferences, Supt. Turner gave his, and it was Architecture Plus, the firm which recently completed the Scrapper Arena basketball facility.
Board members voting for the selection included Jamie Jackson, Zemeria Newton, Dorothy Vaughn, William Dixon and Erwin. Board members Sheila Jackson and Ray Hawkins were unable to attend Monday night’s meeting.
Supt. Turner said that the selected firm would meet frequently with the board, and with school personnel, and that plans would be presented to the board for their approval.
In other action, the board unanimously elected new officers. Dixon will be board president; Erwin will be vice-president; and Newton was re-elected secretary reporter. Dixon is a veteran board member who has previously served as president.
The board approved deletion of inventory items as recommended by Turner, and they heard brief reports from high school principal Stephanie Rowe and elementary principal Stacy Gauldin.
The board heard a glowing financial report from Turner who said: “We’ve been blessed.”