GENOA, Ark. — The construction of the new middle school of the central school district of Genoa is approximately 60% complete.
Mark Bailey of Bailey Architecture said the building will not be completed by the start of the 2022-23 school year. He didn’t have a specific date, but said the building should be finished by mid-autumn.
The district announced in December 2020 that the target completion date was May 2022. Construction began on October 8, 2020 but was delayed by weather conditions.
“They’re about 60% complete,” Bailey said. “The main part of the structure has been built and they are working to complete the interior of the building.”
Genoa’s current middle school, Gary E. Cobb Middle School, houses approximately 370 students in grades five through eight.
The new middle school will have approximately 300 students in grades seven through nine.
College principal John Tollett said seventh and eighth graders would be the first to move into the completed building.
The 65,830 square foot building will include a full-size gymnasium, 12 general education classrooms, two science labs, two computer labs, a special education classroom, a cafetorium, a media center, a health and a fully equipped kitchen.
The gymnasium will be able to accommodate 1,400 people and will have changing rooms. The cafetorium is a hybrid between a cafeteria and a performing arts center. There will also be administrative offices.
TMG Construction Group is handling the construction.
“It will be a state-of-the-art school building,” Bailey said. “It will have features as modern as any school building in the region.
“It’s a pretty big building. If you walked into it, you’d probably be surprised at how big it is.”
The project is estimated at approximately $12.6 million. It is funded by the state of Arkansas and the district through a partnership program, where they both contribute expenses.
The state recognized the need for an additional school after analyzing the district’s annual master plan.
The district has not built a new school since building its high school in 2006.
“It’s a great blessing to this community,” Bailey said. “As they grow, having a facility like this is a great benefit to the community.”