LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) The James Mitchell School in Little Rock, built in 1908 has been sitting vacant since 2005 when it came to a close.
Now, there's a proposal to turn it into a charter school and demolition inside the building is set to begin this week.
If approved, the proposal would allow up to 344 students to attend during the first year of opening with the potential for 22 new classrooms. By the fifth year, it would allow up to 544 students.
Chad Young with Wittenberg Deloney and Davidson architects is the developer.
"It’s a significant investment," said Young. “We're going to have to renovate the interior. It’s been neglected the last several years."
Young mentioned workers are already preparing to begin renovations this week to have the school open by Fall of 2018, serving students from kindergarten through 8th grade.
“I think it’s going to be a real shot in the arm in that neighborhood to have a functioning school that has a new playground," said Young.
Questions still surround whether the school would keep its name, but Young said it would keep its historic status.
“We’re actually going to bring it back to a point, they’re going for historic tax credits," said Young.
The Little Rock Planning Commission unanimously recommended the City Board of Directors approve the proposal to turn it into a charter school. They'll discuss it tomorrow.
The State Board of Education would still need to grant charter school status.