SHERWOOD, Ark. (KTHV) - As the city of Sherwood continues to grow, so does Sylvan Hills High School.
Principal Tracy Allen said that the school is becoming very overcrowded, very quickly. Currently, the school is over capacity by roughly 600 students. Over the last five years grades 9 through 12 grew from 750 students to around 1,400 students.
“We have completely outgrown our auditorium, cafeteria, our media center, and our gymnasium,” Allen said.
The Pulaski County Special School District wants to fix the overcrowding problem by building a new high school in Sherwood. When finished the new high school will be able to hold 2200 students, which meets the predicted growth of 1,900 students.
The upgrade would give stability for new and existing students in the years to come.
“We're at a point where we have to build now in order to house those students otherwise those students will find other options,” Allen said.
Linda George, co-chair of the Sherwood Public Education Foundation, said that while the community's grown, the school hasn't. George said the city can't grow economically if the school can't keep up with the growing population of families in the area.
“There's just so many things that they have to offer, they just don't have the space they need to do it in,” she said.
She said this upgrade has been long overdue. The construction of the new school is a tight timeline. It’s expected to be finished in the next two years. The plan is to break ground around October or November of this year and then have the school opened by at least August 2019.
Principal Allen said his students are excited for the change even if they won't be able to utilize the new buildings. A lot of them, he said, have brothers and sisters they're excited for.