Tuesday, June 13, 2006

TOP STORY >> Cabot High almost ready

Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: Finishing touches are added to the $13.9 million structure as an addition to the Fine Arts Building gets underway.

As workers put the finishing touches on the new $13.9 million Cabot High School on the northwest side of the campus, facing Highways 89 and 38, teachers are already moving boxes from their classrooms in 25 trailers scattered across campus.

Across campus, construction workers are erecting the walls for a $1,888,722 addition to the south end of the Fine Arts Building. The addition will have new choir, chorus and band rehearsal rooms and several classrooms.

“We feel like everything is progressing and we’re in good shape to be in the new high school in August, and we hope to schedule an open house for the parents, students and community in mid-August,” said Frank Holman, superintendent of the Cabot School District.

About 1,800 students are expected on campus this fall.

The massive heating and air conditioning ventilation system for the 191,015 square-foot building is being turned on this month as workers finish in-stalling the ceiling tiles, ceramic floor tiles and carpet on the first floor.

Once painters are through with the interior walls on the second floor, ceiling tiles and flooring will be installed.

The completed 12,000- square-foot media center is being used for temporary storage while the inside of the building is being finished.

“I’m just amazed of the size of this building. You start from the beginning of construction on paper, and when you get over there and see it finished, it’s just amazing,” Holman told The Leader.

When the classrooms are completely moved into the new high school’s 105 classrooms, 25 trailers across campus are scheduled to be removed, and buildings C and D are scheduled for demolition to provide additional parking around the new building.

“Parents and patrons are ex-cited about the new high school and feel it is long overdue,” said Jim Dalton, assistant superintendent for the Cabot School District.

Later this summer, workers will start building 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.

Construction on the new high school started last August. The two-story, 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.

There will be eight offices for principals and support personnel as well as eight counseling offices.

Cabot High School Principal Tony Thurman says students will get the most use out of the centrally located media center while teachers will take advantage of the four resource rooms equipped with kitchenettes, copiers, computers and teleconference equipment.

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.

“We will have seating for 160 without tables and 65 individuals when we want to use tables,” Thurman told The Leader.
Students will be both safe and comfortable at the new school. Every entrance to the building will have video surveillance monitored by principals and resource officers.

Covered outside walkways on both floors of the building will help students get to and from classes even in inclement weather, without crowding the interior hallway.

The Cabot Board of Education is considering having an open house for parents and community members to view the new building in September.