Historic Arkansas High School to Receive $60 Million Facelift

March 5, 2024|

(Image courtesy of Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects and Nabolz & Doyne Construction)


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Voters in Little Rock School District in November 2021 approved $60 million of work that will begin soon to expand the capacity of its historic high school facility.

Originally constructed in 1927 (lab spaces), 1935 (the school) and 1950 (the gymnasium), Little Rock Central High was at that time designated as “the nation’s most beautiful high school” by the National Association of Architects. The construction cost of this historic high school at that time was $1.5 million.

The vision of the school’s iconic five-story front façade is familiar to those witnessing the 1957 desegregation of the then-all-white school by nine black students.

Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects and Nabholz & Doyne Construction are project partners on the expansion, which will include a modern interpretation of the historic brick on the main building.

Construction began in August 2023.

The project calls for $45 million in new classrooms and a new three-story science building, $8.5 million for a two-story fieldhouse and auditorium improvements and $6.6 million in site preparation.

Despite a 60 percent increase in construction costs, the new Little Rock West High School is also moving forward. Baldwin & Shell is the general contractor on that project.


View Our Latest Print Edition

Fresh Content
Direct to Your Inbox


Join CNR Magazine today as a Content Partner

As a CNR Content Partner, CNR Magazine promises to support you as you build, design and engineer projects not only in and around St. Louis, but also across the U.S. CNR is equipped and ready to deliver a dynamic digital experience paired with the top-notch, robust print coverage for which you’ve always known and respected the magazine.