Construction scheduled to begin today on Benton JH addition

Staff Writer

Construction is scheduled to begin today for an addition at Benton Junior High. At the site, an existing metal building will be demolished, making room for a two-story addition containing 12 classrooms.
The cost for the project is approximately $3 million, but the district will receive $1.2 million from state partnership funds.
The first step in the process is scheduled to be done today, according to Benton School District's Facilities Manager Kevin Chastain.
The two workforce classes that were taking place in the building have been relocated.
"(The metal building) has served its life," Chastain said.
The project is scheduled to be completed in October, weather permitting, Chastain added.
The project is expected to cause some traffic issues. From 7:15 to 8:15 each morning and 2:15 and 3:30 each afternoon during school days, the construction crews have been told to not block traffic on Cox Street.
Individuals who are traveling in the area outside of those hours are encouraged to avoid Cox Street near the construction site.
Chastain suggests a few other routes, including traveling from Benton Parkway on the parking lot of the Benton Athletic Complex or parents can also travel on the Benton High School parking lot.
"We're going to make this as painless as possible for everyone involved," Chastain said.
School officials also are taking into account safety concerns.
"We're taking ever imaginable step to encourage safety of staff, students and patrons as well," he said.
Along with the addition, a construction crew will also be doing work inside the main building at Benton Junior High this summer. Two classrooms will be removed so the dining area can be expanded by about one third, Chastain said.
The two classrooms that will be demolished in the main building, along with the two workforce classrooms that were relocated from the metal building, will be moved to the new addition. There will also be eight additional classrooms available for growth, he said.