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The new high school in West Little Rock, which is projected to cost $146 million, is put to a vote by the LRSD school board



Little Rock, Arkansas – The uncertain future of West High School in Little Rock was a topic of discussion for the school board. The board decided to adopt a millage more than two years ago, which would have raised $300 million for the construction of two new schools and facilities upgrades.

Before casting a vote, the board deliberated over Little Rock West High School for more than an hour.

In the end, the board decided to approve the new school’s building plan 7 to 2. For months, there has been debate over this project’s cost. The school’s budget soared to $153 million from the initial estimated cost of $85 million.

The board decided on Thursday to create six new classrooms at a cost of around $146 million. Before the vote passed, there was much discussion about the project’s architects’ pledge to not spend more than was authorized.

BJ Mack is a worried parent who resides close to the site of the proposed Little Rock West High School. Mack told the board members he’s happy a school is finally coming to the area, but he’s not happy with all the noise they had to put up with.

“We’re asking that all chillers be either sound proof or relocated, and not let the new ones be constructed in our backyards,” Mack said. “We also asked number two you erect an eight-foot privacy fence all the way down from property edge to property edge. This is not only for our sakes but for the sake of the kids.”

Steven Hillmick is not of a similar opinion. He worries that the district may lose students to neighboring districts if LRSD doesn’t construct a new high school. Hillmick thinks there will be a sufficient number of kids to occupy the school. The secondary school is expected to have 1,200 pupils enrolled.

“I think that what you’re going to see, we’re not gonna have trouble filling, we’re not gonna have trouble filling that school because we have turned computer labs in our building into classrooms,” Hillmick said. “So I truly believe that it’s gonna be a benefit.”

Based on the conclusion of the Value Engineering design and final cost approval, May 15, 2024, is the suggested start date. The Little Rock West High School project is expected to be finished by March 2027.


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