We finally closed on the old Junior High School and this being such a historic accomplishment not only for the City of Harrison, but also the Harrison School district. Thanks to them this campus that holds many memories of several generations will remain in the hands of the tax payers.
I can recall sitting in the bleachers in the early 1980s watching our daughter Melanie who was part of a drill team. These were dance groups that were in addition to cheerleaders. Next to me was a student who was smoking a cigarette when a coach came up to the bleachers and sat beside him and had a calm discussion (later I learned it was coach Tommy Tice). My respect for him was immediate and I have carried with me to this day.
This campus was the site of the World War II Armory and many of our great veterans spent time in that historic building later to become the lunchroom for the high school and junior high school, plus many dances and special events for the students. So many nights on those wooden bleachers, and this is just some of what the city of Harrison wants to keep for our children’s children. This campus is not about buildings; it’s about memories and history of Harrison families.
We hope that whatever it is we do with the campus that it will continue to contribute to the quality of life for not only Harrison but even surrounding counties. We can say that at this time we do not have concrete plans; however, we are pretty sure that the 1951 portion of the main building will need to be removed while the newer section along with the gym will remain. We also are fortunate to have the large parking lot and feel certain it will remain.
If this campus comes alive again, it will mean so much to our wonderful small town, and that is what we hope to accomplish. It could also help our struggling downtown flourish. I have visited most comparable small towns to Harrison and our downtown is by far the most beautiful of all. We can’t wait until we have a parking problem again, and we have a plan for that.
With a beautiful small town in the heart of the Ozark Mountains and the Crooked Creek flowing through the middle, we should be the talk of everyone wanting to visit or live in Arkansas. I believe this could be the start. Oh, and special thanks to Johnny Morris.