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FHS Location

FHS Location Poll   29 members have voted

  1. 1. What do do?

    • Do nothing; we need more private schools
      2
    • Build new High School and sell the current one
      11
    • Keep and renovate the current High School
      10
    • Renovate some of current High School and build a small new High School
      6

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118 posts in this topic

Figured we might as well start a poll to see everyone's ideas.

Try to mention if you voted in favor of the city of Fayetteville, or the students.

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Being a UofA student, I am biased twards the university having more resources. A new highschool would most likely be put on the outer edge of the downtown/city area and that would further demand for a second highschool on the opposite side (which I think would be best for our growing MSA). There are other reasons but I think selling is the best option overall.

Build new one, sell current. Then help create decent sized private schools to help even further.

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I voted to keep the school where it is and renovate. As you say- a new school would most likely be built at the at the edge of town, probably at the site off Deane Solomon. Building there would lead to more sprawl and be costly to improve the infrastructure. While I'm all for the University aquiring property for future growth, it should be done in a financially responsible way. $59 million for buildings that weren't built with university use in mind is not a good idea. While it is indeed in the University's best interest to have an excellent public school system in the community this is not the way to ensure that.

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I am still on the side of 2 high schools. I would not mind keeping this one open and then building a new one in NW Fayetteville. Then in the future add another high school on the east side of town when it is needed. I don't know what we would do with the old high school then but I am sure the university will always be looking to expand somewhat. It would be a 45 minute drive from the eastern sections of the Fayetteville School District to a new school on the NW side of town at least.

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I'm still not sure what I'd prefer. Looking at it from the university's viewpoint, I like the potential of more land. Although as zman pointed out, it is a lot of money involved. Looking at it from the high school's viewpoint I think that's a good area to keep a school. I'm not sure about a second school. I do think they'll have to build another one at some point. But I'd like to see more numbers to see if we'll need another one very soon or could make due. Compared to the other major school districts, I know Fayetteville hasn't been growing as much as the others. With so much of the growth occurring at the outskirts of the city it ends up falling into other school districts. Where as the other major NWA cities seem to have school district boundaries that extend past their city limits.

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I voted for two high schools. The University would have a difficult time using that building in it's current form, and I don't see the point in spending that much money for a building that is too far away from other important campus buildings to be useful for offices or classrooms. I really don't see what they could use it for. If they need more classroom space, there are a couple buildings on their central part of campus that could be enlarged or a couple really small ones that could be torn down and replaced with a much larger building. I feel they could probably do that for $60million, and the cost of updating the high school would raise the total cost considerably past $60 million.

As far as the high school's side of things goes, I feel that Fayetteville is too large of an area to be supported by one high school. Currently, it's a good location for a south-side high school, but another one located on the northern end of town somewhere would probably be best for the city.

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A couple of more thoughts on this.

The refusal of the proponents of moving FHS to state where it would be moved to is very detrimental to their argument. To me it's like the City of Fayettevile saying they want to move city hall and though they have an obvious site picked out in the far reaches of Lake Sequoyah they won't confirm it. That's just an example of the absurdity of the proponents not saying for sure where the new site would be. The Deane Solomon site is the only logical site that could be considered.

I've read more of the reasons that some want the school to be moved and one them is that access at the current location is a problem. I don't understand this- it's on one of the few east-west corridors in Fayetteville and not far from the only freeway in the area. It's close to other educational facilities such as the UA and the Fayetteville Public Library. The site on Deane Solomon is isolated and not served by any major road. It's on the west side of I540 away from most of the city and closed in by the Springdale and Farmington school systems.

One person stated the local streets around the present site are like narrow "rabbit trails". In a city where traffic calming is a priority these days narrow streets shoud be considered a plus for a school site. If you look just north where Springdale has built a new shiny suburban high school the nice wide streets around it are used for mini-drag strips. I would not like to see Fayetteville fall into the same situation as Springdale has in dividing the city with rival schools. Keeping the present location and making it better than ever is the best choice.

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I do agree that having one high school that is not in the current location is a bad idea. And you are right, adding a large high school on the edges of the town would encourage sprawl (something I detest horribly). So I love the idea of keeping the current location but I think they need to demolish most of what is there and start over completely. Though this is not an option.

It comes to a point where you have to take a step back in order to go forward... That is what I think must be done, and do this by building one big high school on the edge of the city.

I Love the current location, and think they should sell most of it to the UofA. They could keep an area big enough to build a big (as in tall) school building that has minimal facilities in it. This would serve downtown areas and kids who are not particularly interested in sports or have a mode of transportation to those facilities (and the UofA always has space for some of the activities). Then having at least 2 smaller edge schools to serve all other functions. This would be what I would like the most.

But splitting up the schools cuts down on opportunities, creates more costs (economies of scales thing and all) and would be harder to manage among other pros and cons.

They could just say fudge it and send all the money to private/charter schools and have it done the right way through the private sector....

That

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I do agree that having one high school that is not in the current location is a bad idea. And you are right, adding a large high school on the edges of the town would encourage sprawl (something I detest horribly). So I love the idea of keeping the current location but I think they need to demolish most of what is there and start over completely. Though this is not an option.

It comes to a point where you have to take a step back in order to go forward... That is what I think must be done, and do this by building one big high school on the edge of the city.

I Love the current location, and think they should sell most of it to the UofA. They could keep an area big enough to build a big (as in tall) school building that has minimal facilities in it. This would serve downtown areas and kids who are not particularly interested in sports or have a mode of transportation to those facilities (and the UofA always has space for some of the activities). Then having at least 2 smaller edge schools to serve all other functions. This would be what I would like the most.

But splitting up the schools cuts down on opportunities, creates more costs (economies of scales thing and all) and would be harder to manage among other pros and cons.

They could just say fudge it and send all the money to private/charter schools and have it done the right way through the private sector....

That

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Yeah I just foresee them splitting the high school, at least not very soon. I don't think they want the schools to be dropped from the top classification. Fayetteville does have recognition of having the most state titles and according to SI or ESPN, the best high school in the state as far as athletics is concerned. I don't see them letting Fayetteville slide out of the top classification, even if it's just temporary and just a 'pride' issue. The bad thing though is I just don't see FHS growing fast enough to split and keep at least one school in the 7A for quite a while. Some of the growth on the outskirts is actually fueling other school districts and not Fayetteville. Even though I wouldn't mind seeing the U of A have more room to grow after thinking about it I think I have to go for FHS staying put and not splitting. At least for the near future.

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I voted new school. I think the fact that there is only one high school is helping to fuel the outward expansion of the outlying towns. Most people coming in are from an area where they don't stuff the whole cities kids into a single high school and the obvious quick conclusion is FHS MUST be horribly overcrowded. Thus, they begin to look at other, smaller school districts. Build a new school and more of those folks will again decide to live within Fayetteville city limits instead of Farmington, PG, WF, etc.

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I voted new school, sell the old one.

I graduated from FHS, my dad graduated from FHS and my kids will some day go there. They added on when I was there in the early 90's and it was a mistake then and it would be a mistake to keep sinking money into it now. It is a money pit that will continue to drain funds. If a renovation is undertaken now, then 10 years from now we'll be in the same place we are at now but would have spent $50-60 million trying to drag the old dinosaur into modern times.

If the U of A will come forward with an offer than is pretty close to the appraisal value near $60 million (which sounds more likely this week than earlier) then lets take the money and run and build something that will be modern and functional for the next 100 years.

I took classes at the U of A while I was at FHS and it would not have affected me one bit by having the HS located somewhere else. I had to drive across campus and park anyway for it to be convenient enough. If anything the proximity to the U of A made things more dangerous and chaotic around campus. There were always campus police out front pulling people over and its definitely a zoo at lunch with open campus.

I agree it would be great to find 100 acres of land at the corner of Township and College but that isn't going to happen. The plot of land in NW Fay. isn't all that central but if anything it would probably help out when a 2nd high school is needed some day. It could be built on the eastern side and you'd have something that would actually be close to making sense (1 west, 1 east)

The current FHS location was pretty close to central in the 50's and in today's world it isn't really central but it is probably as "central" as we can get since you can't find more open land in town. Most new schools in any town are more toward the edges than the inner part of town. I don't want that topic to mean we have to give up on having a great facility for mine and everyone else's kids.

No matter what happens though we'll all move forward and support FHS no matter where it is.

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I still think one big 7A school and a smaller classification school is the best choice. One or the other could use the existing campus. It would facilitate a phased approach also to getting rid of the current campus to the UA if necessary. You can't beat it's central location, and centrality should be encouraged.

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Springdale is trying the two school approach and it is causing problems. They have the older school in the central part of town and it is known as the less desirable school by far. The central part of Springdale is seeing very little economic investment and now the school district is planing to spend millions to try and bring the old school up to par with the new.

The new west side school, Har-Ber, is seen as the place to be. The area around it is booming economically. Millions have been spent on new surburban style development and millions more have been spent providing infrastructure for the school. The west side of Springdale is becoming the Haves side of town while the Have-nots inherit the east side. Having rival schools goes a lot deeper than sports- they split the town into different economic areas.

That's not to say central Fayetteville would decline in the same way- hopefully it is a lot stronger than my example. There would be a rush to develop areas around a new surburban high school and as time went by the new residents and businesses would want more infrastructure improvements. There would be an economic shift away from the central part of town in order to provide more for the outer edge.

There has been too much effort and money put into improving central Fayetteville to start siphoning important community assets out to the outer edges. The present school can be made an excellent facilty and with the school district's rate of growth being rather low, last for many years.

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I still think one big 7A school and a smaller classification school is the best choice. One or the other could use the existing campus. It would facilitate a phased approach also to getting rid of the current campus to the UA if necessary. You can't beat it's central location, and centrality should be encouraged.

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Springdale is trying the two school approach and it is causing problems. They have the older school in the central part of town and it is known as the less desirable school by far. The central part of Springdale is seeing very little economic investment and now the school district is planing to spend millions to try and bring the old school up to par with the new.

The new west side school, Har-Ber, is seen as the place to be. The area around it is booming economically. Millions have been spent on new suburban style development and millions more have been spent providing infrastructure for the school. The west side of Springdale is becoming the Haves side of town while the Have-nots inherit the east side. Having rival schools goes a lot deeper than sports- they split the town into different economic areas.

That's not to say central Fayetteville would decline in the same way- hopefully it is a lot stronger than my example. There would be a rush to develop areas around a new suburban high school and as time went by the new residents and businesses would want more infrastructure improvements. There would be an economic shift away from the central part of town in order to provide more for the outer edge.

There has been too much effort and money put into improving central Fayetteville to start siphoning important community assets out to the outer edges. The present school can be made an excellent facility and with the school district's rate of growth being rather low, last for many years.

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Those are some interesting points. I was just wondering is it really that big of a problem going to a high school that large? To me having a larger high school is only preparing the students to get used to college. I suppose some will go to very small colleges. But I'd say a large majority will go to a college/university that's way bigger than the high school. I don't know if I buy into the whole 'you have to go to a small school to get a quality education' argument. I guess I am just wondering what's wrong with building the school up. I'm not saying Fayetteville has to stick with one high school forever. But it seems to me at the current rate we could stand to stick to one high school for a while.

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My argument against giant high schools is that it's hard enough being a teen without being in a numbing shuffle of humanity. A giant high school will let most all of the kids just sink into the crowd and get lost. The ones who need help the most in order to become motivated will be able to stay out of sight and the ones who could be great leaders and learners will likewise never get noticed. Extreme size leads to more opportunities for the priviledged few to distance themselves further from everyone else. I for one would never allow my child to go to a super giant high school, never. Thusly, if I were to ever move back to NWA, we'd live in Farmington or PG despite their slightly "lesser" status compared to FHS. Test scores don't impress me much having seen schools cook the books elsewhere.

While I respect your opinion, I think that suggesting this is preparing them for a giant college is neglecting the fact that we're talking about children who still have a lot of psychological developing yet to do. I do acknowledge there is a HUGE adjustment between a small HS and a major university (I underwent that adjustment myself). But I think that the likelihood of adapting to the huge environment increases with age. Had I been forced into a HS the size of FHS today I never would have accomplished what I have (not saying a whole lot but at least I feel I've done something and met many of my goals). I know I for one would have gotten lost in the shuffle trying to find my way amongst a couple thousand.

Having a brand new second school definitely could create some issues in the early going like zman says but I think FHS has a better reputation than Springdale and could retain it's image in competition with a new school.

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I guess then comes the question, what does everyone consider a 'large' high school? Is it too big now? Despite FHS being the size it is I still think it's considered a very good school, especially in the area. But anyway I'm not dead set on my views on this. I was just throwing out what I was thinking. If a majority of people thought a second high school was best I wouldn't have a problem with it. But it is good to know there are some potential problems and to look out for them in advance.

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I had wondered if you could do that, splitting them but making one rather small so that the other could stay in the 7A classification.

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Actually I don't know if it possible or heard of, but I think it makes sense.

One reason I think the option is good is because it pleases two sides, the football side and the size-choice side. Maybe the normal way is for the smaller school to be private, but I would prefer it be public.

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Yes, add a second smaller high school. Allow for school choice. Build the smaller, second high school so that it could be easily expanded as enrollment dictates.

Jocks would be at FHS for sports. Hippies at NFHS.

Problem *cough* solved.

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Yes, add a second smaller high school. Allow for school choice. Build the smaller, second high school so that it could be easily expanded as enrollment dictates.

Jocks would be at FHS for sports. Hippies at NFHS.

Problem *cough* solved.

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Yes, add a second smaller high school. Allow for school choice. Build the smaller, second high school so that it could be easily expanded as enrollment dictates.

Jocks would be at FHS for sports. Hippies at NFHS.

Problem *cough* solved.

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http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/62253/

Interesting article about new estimated costs from buildsmart.

More and more I read, the happier I would be with just the current location. Though they need to rebuild the whole thing, I still think the current location is the best (aside from the whole biased that the UofA should get the property). I love/hate public services...

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Interesting article- what Superintendent Bobby New is avoiding talking about is the cost of the infrastructure improvements at the Deane Solomon site. The architects he mentions didn't take that into account when they gave their cost estimates. The city has enough infrastructure needs without pouring millions into a relatively secluded site like that. If that site isn't used (although I think we all know it would be) the cost of finding another suitable site has to be taken into consideration.

The district's estimate of a new school without athletic facilties costing $61 million and with athletic facilities and new administration building costing $86 million are a far cry from the estimate in Bentonville of $100 million (without athletic facilities) for a new high school. The costs of construction and land are not that different just miles apart- I would think that land in Fayetteville would be higher.

The public schools have a funding mechanism in place and it doesn't include being directly subsidized by the University of Arkansas or the City of Fayetteville. For the UA to pay $59 million for buildings that it would either have to extensively renovate or tear down isn't a wise use of it's limited resources. For the city to pay $10 to $15 million for improvements in the short term and much more in the long term isn't a wise use of it's even more limited resources.

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