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FORT SMITH -- The Fort Smith School Board has agreed to accept the donation of a nearly 182,000-square-foot building the district plans to use as the home of its Career and Technology Center.

The board voted unanimously at Monday's meeting to accept the donation of the building on 16.69 acres from the estate of William L. Hutcheson Jr. The property, at the intersection of Zero Street and Painter Lane, was the home of Hutcheson Shoes.

"This generous gift will enable generations of our kids to develop the 'viable plan, applicable skill set and creativity' called for in our Vision 2023 Strategic Plan," School Board President Susan McFerran said in a news release.

The center was one of several components in the plan adopted by the School Board and drawn up by a large group of parents, teachers, students and community members.

Development of the center was estimated to cost about $14 million, but the release said the donation will trim about $3 million from the cost.

School Superintendent Doug Brubaker said the size and condition of the building makes it a good choice for the center, according to the release.

He said the donation will accelerate efforts to create a center that will provide students with the resources to develop career goals and the knowledge, skills and creativity needed to achieve them.

The center is meant to provide education and training in special areas such as information technology, health care and advanced manufacturing within the science, technology, engineering, art and math disciplines.

The estimated $120 million Vision 2023 plan was approved by voters in Fort Smith and Barling last May when they passed a 5.558-mill property tax increase, the first school property tax rise in more than 30 years, to pay for implementing the plan.

NW News on 02/27/2019

Print Headline: Fort Smith schools accept building gift

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