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Photo taken by Mary Claire Reece

Photo taken by Mary Claire Reece

Mary Claire Reece, Reporter

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Over this school year, the Marion High School campus has seen a lot of changes and construction. Plans are underway to make many new additions and changes for the 2018-19 school year, both in structure and in rules.

In the north annex, the front offices are being remodeled into a mental and physical health center in association with East Arkansas Family Health Center. The facility will be open to all students and faculty and will serve as a doctor’s office while also assisting in athletic physicals for student athletes. The company overseeing the construction project said that the center will most likely be finished before the end of the 2017-18 school year but may not be operational until next school year.

Additionally, the roofing on the main building is being completely replaced after problems with leaking. This construction has caused heating and cooling problems due to the movement of the units on the roof, but it is projected to be completed before the end of the school year.

In an effort to increase security, 52 cameras will be placed around the campus. This project has been started and will be operational before the start of school in the fall.

“Safety is our number one priority, then your education is number two,” Principal Paul Johnston affirmed. “If we know our teachers and our students aren’t safe, then we cannot have school.”

The north annex and humanities buildings will also be refurbished over the summer. The tile will be taken off, and when the flooring is removed, they will decide on what new flooring they will use. If the concrete underneath is up to standards, they will stain the concrete. If not, the flooring will be either carpet or tile. Ceilings will also be replaced, and both buildings will be painted although the colors are not yet decided. The entrances of the north annex and the humanities buildings will be renovated like the main building’s glass window style. All of this will be completely finished before the first day of the 2018-19 school year.

New batting cages are near completion in front of the baseball field and will be used by both softball and baseball for the time being. The softball team will be receiving their own batting cages in the future, but for now both teams will share the facility. There is also a possibility of golf being able to use the building if proper nets can be purchased and installed. If things go as planned with weather and construction, the building will be functional for use over the summer.

Johnston confirmed that there will be changes in dress code and other policies along with a new handbook. The handbook is being edited to be more specific where policies have been broad in the past.

“We are going to be more stringent in some areas and, maybe, relaxed with certain things,” Johnston stated. “ When I say more stringent, I mean on the ones who don’t follow policy or our rules. If you decide to follow the rules, there won’t be any issues.”

Photo taken by Mary Claire Reece

Mary Claire Reece
A sneak peak into the mental and physical health center

Johnston wants to change things for the better with the student dress code policy. He will be meeting and working with the school board to make those changes. Those changes will be stated in the new handbook at the start of the new school year.

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