Thursday, May 25 was the last day of school in the Paris School District. That doesn’t mean work stops in the district. It’s quite the opposite for the district’s maintenance personnel. They’ll be busy, according to School Superintendent Wayne Fawcett.
“Probably the most visible work being done this summer will be the career center,” Fawcett said last week.
Construction has begun on the Tyson-Logan County Career Center on district-owned property north of the Paris High School campus. The 10,000-square-foot facility is expected to be finished sometime in August or September, according to Fawcett.
“We’re still shooting for August, but I think September is more realistic,” he said.
The center will provide career education needed by local business and industry to students in the area and adults.
In addition to that, the Paris Middle School library is undergoing a complete transformation, Fawcett said.
“It’s a total remodel,” Fawcett said. “It’s going to become more of a media center and a learning hub, but we’re still calling it a library.”
Demolition work was completed last week and the remodel will be finished by the time school starts in mid-August.
“It’s going to be sleek, very innovative and modern,” PMS media specialist Anne Canada said last week. “And, I’m not losing any book space.”
Canada said the old library space had become dated and the upgrade is needed.
“I’ve been here 11 years and the space has always looked the same,” she said. “So, it was time.”
Canada said the renovation will turn the space into something more that just a place to read books.
“Everything will be moveable so the space can be refigured,” she said. “Look at it as more of a commons area than a library. There will be the opportunity for kids to makes things and do projects. The space will also include a stage area where students can present programs. It’s going to be a collaboration space.”
Canada also said she hopes to be able to open the space up to the community after school hours.
The interior has been designed by Paris natives Reese Rowland and Dustin Davis, architects with the Polk Stanley Wilcox firm of architects in Little Rock. Canada added that eighth graders at the school also had design input.
Fawcett said everything else on the summer to do list is pretty standard.
“We’re going to strip and wax all the flooring and continue replacing paneling in the elementary school with sheet rock,” he said.
The time to complete all that work this summer is short. The 2017-18 school year begins on Monday, Aug. 14, the earliest possible date for the beginning of a school year, Fawcett said.
“We’ve got about 47 work days to get stuff done,” Fawcett said. “It’s a pretty short summer.”