FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Greenwood Schools announced Wednesday, Jan. 26 the purchase of 12 acres of land on Chad Colley Boulevard in the Chaffee Crossing district of Fort Smith.

Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Wilson cited residential growth in the area as well as a newly planned residential development on the east side of Greenwood for reasons the district decided to make the purchase.

According to a press release, the current enrollment at Greenwood Schools shows a significant increase in enrollment for the 2021-22 year with 165 students over the last year.

Wilson notes this 5% increase equates to eight additional classrooms needed to house those students. Currently, the elementary buildings house over 700 students each.

“Student population being over 750 for those buildings present logistical problems with lack of classroom space,” Wilson said. “This year, our elementary schools are up over 100 students in buildings that were already close to capacity.”

Greenwood Superintendent John Ciesla reportedly referenced the growth of two key subdivisions on Chad Coley Boulevard as one of the reasons the district chose the location for its new school.

In addition, the district said economic growth and the Operation Phantom project at Ebbing Air National Guard Base will bring additional families to the community.

The district says at this time, there are no specifics as to what grades will be on the new site, but it will be an elementary school.

The school is anticipated to be approximately 80,000 square feet with a cafeteria and PE gym to serve 500 students. The project is within a five-year window.