- Fort Smith School District
Building Donated to Support FSPS Career Education
Former Hutcheson Shoe building to become FSPS Career & Technology Center
At a Glance
- Board of Education accepts donation of 181,710 square foot building.
- Donation saves FSPS $3Million budgeted for purchase of building for career education.
- CTC to provide focused education and training in STEAM disciplines.
Fort Smith, AR, February 25, 2019– At its regular meeting this evening, the Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education voted to accept the donation of a 181,710 square foot building on a 16.69 parcel from the Estate of William L. Hutcheson, Junior to redevelop as its Career and Technology Center (CTC). The donation will save the district $3 million dollars budgeted for the purchase of a building in the capital improvement plan.
Fort Smith School Board President Susan McFerran described the donation as a catalyst for positive and transformative change within the district. “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,” she said.
The district’s Career and Technology Center, which was included in its Vision 2023 Capital Improvement Plan approved by Fort Smith and Barling voters in its May 2018 millage referendum, will provide focused education and training in specialty areas such as information technology, health care, and advanced manufacturing within the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) disciplines. The millage proposal specified that an existing building would be renovated.
The donated facility, which was formerly the home of Hutcheson Shoes, is located at the intersection of Zero and Painter Lane in Fort Smith. District leaders noted that its size and excellent condition are two of the qualities that make it a great match for this project. “This will be a fantastic site for our CTC,” said FSPS Superintendent Dr. Doug Brubaker. “It’s been very well maintained. We could not be more excited about this,” he said.
Dr. Brubaker added, “We are very grateful to the Estate of William L. Hutcheson, Jr., for this tremendous gift to the students and future of Fort Smith. This donation will accelerate our efforts to create a premier CTC that will provide students with the resources needed to develop career goals as well as the knowledge, skills, and creativity that they will need to achieve them. This facility will also serve as a laboratory for the development of innovative and engaging instructional strategies in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math, which will have a positive impact on the educational experiences of all FSPS students for many years to come.”