ASMSA is committed to providing state-of-the-art classroom and laboratory facilities for our students, and we want to provide the best living accommodations for our students.
A visit to campus reveals the challenges faced in trying to improve our residential facilities. Our Residential Life Building is actually an 85-year old former hospital building that is showing its age.
In 2009, students, faculty, alumni and city stakeholders developed a campus master plan to assist the school in future campus planning. It was felt students needed significantly improved living spaces, exterior play and interior gathering areas and a student center.
In August 2010, the school broke ground on a new Student Life Complex. In addition to the residence halls, the Complex will include a new dining hall, library, student commons areas, the school nurse office, and the other student-life related spaces.
The school has enough funds to complete the Student Life Complex, but additional money is needed to make other necessary campus renovations before we can completely vacate the old hospital building.
We must renovate the Cedar Street building on campus to house the art, music, and computer science classrooms, faculty offices, the admissions and counseling departments and the fitness center, which are all currently housed in the old hospital building.
Once we have vacated the old Residential Life Building, the City of Hot Springs has agreed to tear down the old building.
The long-term plan also includes construction of a gym/assembly hall and playing fields. Currently, ASMSA does not have a gym. Nor do we have an assembly area large enough to accommodate the student body. Students must be bussed across town to a fitness center for P.E. classes. The school lost its athletic field and student courtyard to accommodate the new construction.
A new gym/assembly hall will allow the school to present programs such as concerts and dance performances for the community as well as support the arts portion of the school's mission. The hall could also be used by community organizations.
The recreation area will include an intramural track and field with bleachers, basketball and tennis courts. A walking trail also will be constructed around the north end of campus.
Once the old hospital and Pine Street buildings are demolished, the campus plan calls for creating a "Learning Courtyard" in front of the new Student Life Complex. These green areas will feature tree-lined radial walkways with benches and lighting for informal student gatherings.
We also want to create a new, welcoming "front door" to campus to encourage public use while providing a greater visual impact from Central Avenue. An auto court with semi-circular driveway will serve the Whittington Street entrance with steps to a raised plaza that includes a water feature and amphitheater. The amphitheater will be used as an outdoor classroom and for public performances.
There will be a smaller courtyard between the new residence halls.