FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — The Future School of Fort Smith is getting a helping hand on an expansion project thanks to a $1 million donation.
Founded in 2016, the school located on North 7th Street has about 220 students.
“I love that we have a family environment. I don’t come here dreading school every day and I come here just having a smile on my face and I feel at home," said student Jada Raybourn.
The charter school is free and open to the public but is not a part of the Fort Smith Public School District.
It receives from the state only about 70% of funding per student compared to traditional public schools.
“That’s really a challenge for us because the district just received quite a bit of money from the mileage and they're engaged in a huge building project which is awesome for the community and the students but we aren’t a part of that," said Boyd Logan, Future School Superintendent.
A generous donation from businessman and Dream Alliance founder Dwight Curry is allowing the school to move forward with construction plans.
“This one million dollar donation from the dream alliance is earth-shattering for us. We are literally going to be able to expand our campus for 9th grade, to offer more opportunities for students, hiring more staff," said Allison Monitel, Future School principal.
The project will build an additional 15,000 square feet to the existing campus, adding 14 more classrooms and making room for a total of 400 students.
“I hope to see more students wanting to come here because the whole goal is to get students here to have a bright future," Raybourn said.
The final plans for the expansion will be presented to the school board on Tuesday (Jan. 21).
If approved, construction could begin this summer with the completion of the project expected in the Fall of 2021