Former Springdale Public Schools Superintendent Jim D. Rollins was celebrated Friday, April 15, 2022, at the dedication of the school district’s eighteenth elementary school.
Jim D. Rollins School of Innovation, 354 E. Fletcher Ave., opened in August 2021 to serve 335 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
“This is a special day in my life and the lives of my family members as well,” Rollins said. “It is an honor beyond belief to have my name on a school.”
Rollins served as the district superintendent for about 38 years and is currently president of Northwest Technical Institute.
Michelle Cook, Springdale School Board President, said Rollins has always been an education trailblazer.
“He’s known all over the state and all over the nation,” Cook said. “He's always willing to try something new and always making sure that all students have the opportunity to do great things.”
Annette Thompson, Jim D. Rollins School of Innovation Principal, said the school’s administrators and staff are committed to following in Rollins’ footsteps as education innovators and creators.
“Our students will understand how they learn best, and they will have the opportunity to apply their learning through many avenues,” Thompson said. “Students will create, wonder, discover and follow their passions and interests as they learn.”
The 92,103-square-foot school cost about $20.4 million to build and was funded through a combination of bond proceeds, on-hand building funds and state partnership funds.
Construction of Rollins began in October 2020 and continued through February 2022. Wittenberg Delony and Davidson Architects managed the building design, and Flintco Construction managed construction.
Work such as installing the school’s stage curtain, repairing damaged ductwork and providing a gate for the trash dumpsters is anticipated to occur in the immediate future.
Further development of the school is anticipated as student enrollment and development in the surrounding community continues to occur.
The school has the capacity to serve 700 students.
District Superintendent Jared Cleveland said a school of such scope normally takes two years to complete, while Rollins was constructed and opened for student learning in about a year. Such an achievement wouldn’t have been possible without community partners such as Flintco Construction, Wittenberg Delony and Davidson Architects, Tontitown Mayor Gene McCartney, former Tontitown Mayor Paul Colvin and Tontitown Police Chief Corey Jenison.
“Thank you so much for carrying forward with our partnership,” Cleveland told all who supported the building and development of Rollins. “That's truly what all of this was for you. Hundreds and hundreds of partnerships, people who really had nothing to gain who wanted to support and create a school unlike any other.”
In addition to remarks by special guests, the dedication included a ribbon cutting, filling a time capsule and a performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by the school’s fourth and fifth grade classes.