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Community Action on Old School


Community leaders met last week to form plans for the Old High School on Mena Street.  The Arkansas Regional Coalition of the Ouachitas, ARCO, and the Downtown Partners brought city, county and state representatives, business owners, and the Mena Chamber of Commerce to meet with McClure Engineering, specialists in innovative community development projects.

Walter Deetz, the school’s owner and local businessman, enlisted McClure Engineering, specialists in innovative community development projects, to create a plan based on community input.

The McClure Engineering team, led by Dr. John Sutherlin toured the 70,000 square foot school, local businesses, UARM, MRHS complex, the Historic Arts District, and then met with local interested citizens to determine options for the use of the old school building on Mena Street

This meeting was the first of a series of meetings, to determine a multi-use plan that considers current and future uses for all ages. The multi-use approach will ensure sustainability through the 21st century.

Dr. Sutherlin’s first meeting focused on Visioning, where he gained insight into areas of concern that included housing, land use, infrastructure, tourism promotion and education among others. McClure Engineering agreed to present a long-term Vision Statement for the project and measurable to gauge progress for review at the next meeting.

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