Breaking ground: New high school construction begins
The Berryville School District broke ground on its new high school Monday, Nov. 26.
The building plans include the construction of a new 98,000-square-foot high school for grades 10 through 12 on the old football field, new 22,000-square-foot cafeterias for both the middle and high schools and new 22,000-square-foot media centers for both the middle and high schools.
Superintendent Owen Powell welcomed guests to the event, saying it was an exciting and historic time for Berryville’s students, faculty and community.
“We are here to celebrate a new beginning for our students,” Powell said. “In a little more than a year, these students will be walking the hallways of their new high school right here where we stand. This site will be transformed into a new instructional space for the current and future students of our community.”
He continued, “While we are excited about this new addition to the school district, we will respect and renew the old. The old high school has served our community for 70 years. It will remain on campus and become the central administration building.”
Powell thanked the Berryville community for recognizing its students’ need for a better school building.
“I would like to thank the community of Berryville for investing in furthering education through this project,” he said. “I would like to thank the Berryville School Board, Lewis Architects and Nabholz Construction, who have all worked hard to make our vision a reality. I’m honored to be here and be a part of this progress by moving Berryville schools forward. This is a great moment in Berryville history, and it’s a great day to be a Bobcat.”
Board president Chad Hipps thanked the community for taking on the sacrifices necessary to complete the high school project and for recognizing that Berryville students need and deserve better.
“I would like to challenge the students to take pride in who you are and where you come from,” Hipps said, “and to recognize the sacrifices the community has made for you. Always try to leave the community a little bit better than you found it.”
Steve Elliott, president of Lewis Architects Engineers, thanked the community and said he was impressed by its support for the Berryville School District.
“We work on schools all over the state. Very few areas are able to get a millage passed with the current anti-tax feelings,” Elliott said. “Berryville should be congratulated on having the community support to build a new high school like this. I’m excited. I’m hoping the next time I stand in front of all of you will be at the opening of the new high school.”
Jeff Gattis, senior project manager with Nabholz Construction, said the new high school should be completed in the next 14 to 15 months.
“This is a monumental project,” he said. “This high school will serve the community for the next 50-plus years.”
“Planning for the future can be difficult and require very hard work that requires focus, cooperation and commitment,” Powell said. “We’ve had all of those things here at Berryville.”