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District gives progress report on Fort Smith Schools' construction project funded by millage increase

School officials said all projects included in the $120 million plan funded by a 2018 millage increase are on schedule to be completed by August 2021.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Fort Smith School leaders assure the community the $120 million project which began nearly two years ago will be completed on schedule. 

Fort Smith citizens approved a millage for updates and renovations throughout the school district in 2018. Shawn Shaffer is the construction supervisor for the school district and said everything is going as planned. 

"There are no concerns right now," Shaffer said. "I mean, I have none and our contractors and architects. They don't see any either."

In a progress report given Monday (Feb. 24), Shaffer said some elementary schools have secure entranced complete, but others are still in the designing phases.

"Those projects can only be done in the summer when the kids and staff are not in the building," Shaffer said. "It gives us a little bit more room to work."

Work continues at both Southside and Northside High Schools. Shaffer said Southside is a bit ahead in the process because building pads are going in for the safe room and gym. 

At Ramsey Junior High from the outside, it's hard to tell how much work is finished, but Shaffer said the civil package is complete. Shaffer said with good weather work will continue outside on the office additions. 

"Once we get that building pad and a roof over us, then the contractors are going to start rocking and rolling," Shaffer said. "Unfortunately, without the building pad and roof right now, Mother Nature does wreak a little havoc now and again."

Shaffer said at this time, construction is slightly ahead of schedule at Ramsey, and everything else is on track. With the millage increase in effect, Shaffer assures the budget is in line as well. 

"Overall, we are within budget for the whole millage project," Shaffer said.