Jealous that the glamour of the new El Dorado High School will take away from the buzz that’s long surrounded the new El Dorado Conference Center, leaders at South Arkansas Community College recently approached high school administrators attempting to broker a deal to switch facilities.
Though the college has many construction projects under its belt following the unveiling of the $14.4 million conference center in February, SouthArk administrators believe the new $42.7 million high school facility outshines the college campus in every way possible.
While the conference center and health and sciences building might be new additions at SouthArk, the rest of the campus is relatively old, said SouthArk President Barbara Jones.
“The goal is to give our students a wonderful atmosphere in which they can reach their absolute academic potential,” she said. “But it’s tough to encourage the college students to keep up a good work ethic when that beautiful facility down the road is being enjoyed by mere high schoolers.”
She explained that since the high school’s reveal — “in all its glory” — a week ago, the work completed by summer college students has come to a screeching halt.
Even the addition of the conference center and the promise of a nearby water park, petting zoo and ice cream parlor on the SouthArk’s main campus have done little to boost the college students’ confidence, and administrators are feeling the embarrassment that their college facility might not match up to the high school’s.
“And if the chance to pet an alpaca isn’t bringing their spirits back up, well, then I just don’t know what else to do,” Jones said, despairingly.
As renovation projects pile up at several older buildings on SouthArk’s two campuses, professors looked on longingly at the new high school where construction has recently finished up and any maintenance will be far down the road.
“I can’t believe their teachers get computers and electronic overhead projectors and we’re still operating off of blackboards and chalk, pens and paper,” one commented anonymously.
Another, filling out an application for a teaching position at the new high school, commented that the campus and facility have been referred to time and time again throughout multiple tours last week as far superior to what many universities nationwide can boast.
“I couldn’t imagine a prettier place to work,” she said.
Doodling on her notebook, Susie B. Lazzie, a physics sophomore at SouthArk, said she’s “just lost the will to learn” after seeing the new high school.
“They’re only high schoolers and look where they get to go to school!” she said, gesticulating wildly and knocking a soft drink onto her Advanced Physics textbook.
“Oh, what’s it even matter anymore!” she said as the liquid spread to her Intermediate Composition notebook.
High School administrators report having to scramble throughout the last week to deal with the abundance of inquiries from high school and college students countywide wishing to transfer to the new facility.
Principal Jim Tucker said he was intrigued with the meeting and would consider switching schools but only if the college agreed to allow the high school to paint the new “El Dorado High School Conference Center” purple and white.