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Pine Bluff High to hold groundbreaking ceremony

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Little Rock, Arkansas – The new Pine Bluff High School will feature a hospitality area, a 2,000-seat arena, a history wall, and more. There will be a groundbreaking ceremony on the front lawn of the current Pine Bluff High campus.

The 900-student capacity school was conceived of prior to the Dollarway School District’s annexation.

The PBSD has seen a continuous increase in enrolment since the decision, and the district has been pushing for a safe room, a 900-seat auditorium, and a new section for its Career Technical Education department as a result of the extra pupils.

A millage increase passed on August 8, 2023, is what led to the construction of the new high school.

The 2020 application for partnership money was viewed as a “space replacement” when officials first submitted it.

It was necessary to demolish five buildings in addition to constructing the new high school on the existing site in order to use the desired partnership financing.

“The big deal was in order to get the $12.8 million from the state to use toward the building, we have to build it on that site because we have to demolish the 5 buildings that were part of the original plan,” according to Pine Bluff School District Superintendent Jennifer Barbaree.

The Fine Arts building, the ROTC building, and the classroom buildings on Trice, McGeorge, and Patterson streets had to be demolished.

District officials started surveying the public after the requirements were decided upon and approved. Through community contributions, they were able to gather data about high schools in the area that had come and gone.

“You know there are many high schools now from this area that now make up Pine Bluff High and so we spoke with different people in the community, alumni, and we have information or a trail of all the different high schools that make up Pine Bluff High.”
Through the entry of the new high school, plaques, memorabilia, and other historical remains across the history wall of former high schools will be displayed, as an ode to the past and how the institutions have molded Pine Bluff High.

“We are proud of all the different schools that have now made up this high school, and so we don’t want to lose any of that heritage either, says Barbaree.

“We wouldn’t be who we are without all of the people that make up Pine Bluff High.”

Landon Holcomb, a 2024 PBH alumnus, and Superintendent Barbaree will emcee the joyous event.

A number of visitors, including board members, political officials, and a high school student, will make remarks.

These people include Millage Campaign Chairperson Erika Evans, Pine Bluff School District Board President Dr. Sederick Rice, 10th grade student Trenton Darrough, Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington, State Representative Vivian Flowers, Lisa Hunter, an alumna of PBHS and member of the Arkansas State Board of Education, and more.

The $74 million structure, which is expected to open for the 2026–2027 academic year, brings in a new era and perspective for the Pine Bluff School District.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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