• New elementary school in West Memphis long overdue, parents say

    By: Siobhan Riley


    WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. - For the second time in 60 years a new elementary school will be built from the ground up in West Memphis.

    FOX13 talked with parents who said that’s a big deal for the community.

    Right now, the area is a construction site now but in 2020, a new elementary school will go up right on 25th and Henry.

    School district leaders said it’s one way to address overcrowding.

    School leaders broke ground on the lot this week. In 2020, Jackson-Wonder is set to become the largest elementary school in West Memphis.  

    Something parents said is long overdue.  

    “It’s great for the community, especially you live in this community here you got to go way across town to go to school,” said James Johnson.

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    “It’s a lot of parents over there and it’s a lot of parents around here that don’t have transportation and kids got to walk to school, rain sleet or snow,” said Taneka Parker.

    Currently, Jackson and Wonder students are in another building temporarily down the road.  A spokesperson with the district said the two schools will combine when the new school opens because of overcrowding and declining enrollment.

    “Basically, all the schools in West Memphis, Arkansas, is overcrowded,” said Parker.

    Parents said a new school gives their community a sense of pride and hope especially in a neighborhood where poverty is impacting hundreds of families.    

    They also like the idea of a new school being close to the Boys and Girls Club.

    “Bettering the kids,” said Parker.

    A spokesperson with the district said this is part of a three-phase construction project that the superintendent started three years ago. The next phase will be to include another new school.

    They have not decided which one.

    The new building will be more than 92,000 square feet when it’s built in May 2020.

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