LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the Little Rock School District (LRSD) held a topping out ceremony to celebrate placement of the final beam atop Little Rock Southwest High School.

“Much attention has been given to every facet of this space to ensure it will not only be a point and pride for Little Rock but for the southwest community and the state of Arkansas,” deputy superintendent Marvin Burton said.

LRSD broke ground on the facility, located on Mabelvale Pike, in October 2017.

Wednesday’s ceremony included a look around the state-of-the-art school, which includes a media center, oversized classrooms, a 1200 seat auditorium, new athletic facilities, and countless other features.

The 400,000 square-foot school is set to open in 2020 and will provide space for more than 2,200 students who currently attend McClellan and JA Fair high schools.

“I do believe that the opportunity to have a space that's good learning space, it's going to have an impact,” superintendent Michael Poore said.

The $101-million price tag for has been met with pushback from some in the community. Poore addressed the scrutiny during the ceremony.

“Was it too much money to go build in Benton?” he asked the crowd. “Was it too much money to go build things in Bryant? Was it too much money to go to North Little Rock? Is it not right to go do what kids in the Southwest should get? Do they not deserve to have rooms that actually have walls that go all the way to the floor, that have eating and air conditioning?” he asked.

LRSD sold $90 million worth of bonds in order to fund the new school.

Poore said he hopes to name the school’s principal by February.


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