The high school for 10th-12th-grade students contains 25 classrooms, five science labs, three computer labs, a music room, an EAST lab, and a parent resource center on the UA Little Rock campus. The 2017-18 school year began Aug. 15 for 466 eStem High School students, an increase of 100 students from last year.
Members of the UA Little Rock campus community toured the newly renovated building during an Aug. 14 open house.
“The renovations look phenomenal,” said Marc Glidden, UA Little Rock director of campus living and assistant dean of students. “I like the modern design, and the colors are big and light.”
Rather than having an orange brick exterior, the nearly 33,000-square-foot building has a mat-black facade that UA Little Rock Police Chief Regina Wade found eye catching.
“It’s sleek, and it’s very modern. I like it,” Wade said. “We are so excited to partner with eStem. The police department is really geared for this transition.”
Those who miss the orange brick facade can find that feature inside eStem High School, which kept the original walls of John A. Larson Hall as part of the building’s hallways.
Larson Hall was renovated to house the new high school. Formerly the South Building, Larson Hall is one of the two original buildings constructed on campus when the institution moved to its current location in 1949.
“I like the fact that they kept the orange brick in the halls as a connection to the old building,” said Julie Flinn, professor of anthropology, who also appreciates the industrial-style look of the building with concrete floors and exposed pipes and wires running along the ceiling.
As visitors passed the entrance to each classroom, they could read a core value selected by an eStem teacher. The core value – like caring, service, and open-mindedness – represents a value each teacher wants to emphasize in the classroom.
“It starts with the teachers knowing our core values and establishing that in the classroom for our students,” said Tierney Armour, eStem high school teacher. “These values are what we want reflected in the classroom.”