New high school in Helena-West Helena won’t be ready until December

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — High school students in Helena-West Helena will have to wait another four months before they can attend the new multi-million Central High School.

The state of the art facilities include a new art classroom, security systems, a new library and even an indoor sports facility. But because of recent weather delays workers have not been able to complete work on the cafeteria, auditorium and the gym floor.

Those projects won’t be complete on time, Superintendent Linda English says.

“We’ve had a very rainy season, and that has prolonged some of the construction,” English said.

We reached out to Lewis-Elliot Architects about construction delays and were told any comments would have to come from Helena-West Helena Schools.

The school will have to pass codes and have a certificate of occupancy before that date for the school to be opened. English said they hope to have that all said and done by December 2.

“I’ve been on the phone today with them. They are constantly checking in and letting me know how things are going. They’re not slowing down.”

She says the school system is reviewing contracts to determine if any penalties can be assessed, because the project wasn’t completed on schedule. We’re told the rain delay is a consideration, but the school board will make the final decision.

For now, seventh and eighth grade students will attend Eliza Miller Junior High, and ninth through twelfth grade students will attend the current high school.

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