UALR, eStem announce groundbreaking for new school

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and eStem Public Charter Schools, Inc., are moving forward with revised plans for a high school on the UALR campus.

Preliminary work on the project has begun, with eStem planning to renovate and expand Larson Hall by the 2017-18 school year. Larson Hall currently is not in use because of the need for renovation.

A groundbreaking ceremony and news conference are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 14 on the UALR campus.

John A. Larson Hall, formerly the South Building, is one of the two original buildings constructed on campus when the institution moved to its current location in 1949.

The collaboration allows eStem to provide a collaborative learning environment for its 10th through 12th grade students, while giving new life to one of UALR’s original buildings and providing students a smooth transition to higher education. eStem will lease the property from UALR.

“We’re thrilled to partner with eStem and confident this collaboration will benefit both institutions and make a difference in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in Arkansas,” said UALR Interim Chancellor Zulma Toro, also executive vice chancellor and provost.

Since its inception in 2007, eStem has provided an innovative approach to K-12 public education in Arkansas. Utilizing interactive teaching methods, rigorous curriculum, and longer school days and school years, eStem has proven successful at making students college, career and world ready. Last year, eStem graduates accepted an average of $40,170 in scholarships per graduate.

“We at eStem are proud of our students and families, as well as, our teachers and staff who work together every day to create a positive learning environment,” said John Bacon, CEO of eStem. “Partnering with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will provide more students in our state the opportunity to earn a college degree.”

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