Ouachita River School District is moving along on the construction of a new 10,000 s.f., $2 million cafetorium. The district opened the competitive bids September 1, and finally awarded Petree Construction of Ft. Smith with the project. Superintendent Jerry Strasner told The Pulse that he is extremely pleased with the team working on the Cafetorium, and the progress they have made already only a month into construction. “We have a really great team, with our architect and general contractor and everyone at the school. We have a good relationship, and we’re working really well together to solve problems as they come up,” Strasner told the Pulse.
No millage increases were requested, and the district is able to pay cash for the project with no financing, an accomplishment that Strasner credits the staff of ORSD with, “Thank you to everyone in the district. We strive to be good stewards of their money.” ORSD has the eighth lowest millage rate in the state of Arkansas.
The district currently feeds approximately 540 students in a 3,227 s.f. space. To accommodate, the district begins feeding lunch at 10:30 a.m. to get all of the students through. With the new cafetorium, lunches will be able to begin at 11 a.m.
According to Strasner, the project will be 70% completed by the end of the current 2017-2018 School Year, weather permitting and at the current pace of construction.
Construction officially began during the first week of November of this year, and Petree Construction expects the project to be completed in ten months time, bringing the end of construction to September of 2018. “We’ve been blessed with good weather as far as the construction goes, and I feel great about the progress so far… we’re moving right along,” said Strasner.