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Fayetteville School District to build new middle school

A new middle school will be built on the ever-growing west side of I-49 in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Fayetteville School District will soon be adding another middle school on the ever-growing west side of town. This comes after the Fayetteville Board of Education approved the administration's recommendation that the new school should be a middle school.

The middle school will be built on 23 acres on Rupple Road between Persimmon and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevard. The school will open in time for the 2023 school year.

"Owl Creek School, which is just up the road here a mile or so, is currently a pre-k through grade six. So, it has an elementary and middle school. By moving that to a pre-k through grades four, those students will come over here to the middle school," Alan Wilbourn said.

Fayetteville School District Spokesman, Alan Wilbourn, says the new middle school will create a lot more room for all the kids who will eventually live in all new homes that are being built. The new school will have a full-size gym and have a similar layout to the other middle schools.

"Right now we are in the input process, so the architects and constructions managers are gathering input from staff, from administrators, there will be some parent input that will be coming soon also to determine what works really well in our middle schools and maybe what can we incorporate and do it a little bit better," he said.

The City of Fayetteville says in the last 10 to 15 years, almost 1,500 homes have been built close to the site of the new middle school, and there are around 500 or so new homes that are either under construction or will be soon.

Jonathan Curth, with the City of Fayetteville planning division, says the significant growth has been west of I-49 because that land is more developable than the east side of the interstate. He says property only gets more expensive as everything around it is developed.

"Owl Creek was built around 2006 before the city even built Rupple Road and before many of the subdivisions were built out there. I think that's another example of them trying to get ahead of the demographics curve and make sure they have land and schools necessary for where the city is growing," he said.

The district is planning on the middle school opening in the fall of 2023. Construction is expected to start spring or summer of 2021. The district purchased the land for 1.8 million.

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