Highlander legacy lives on at community center

Thursday, July 8, 2021

With the restoration of the Highlander Gym completed this week, the Eureka Springs Community Center Foundation is taking time to appreciate the relationship with the Eureka Springs School District, as well as to reflect on the importance of establishing a community center for the Eureka Springs region.

In the 62 years students occupied the school campus at 44 Kingshighway, there is little doubt that all left the school with countless memories to share with their children and grandchildren, helping to keep the collective memory of the old high school alive.

This Highlander legacy is important to every member of the Eureka Springs Community Center Foundation Board, especially to the former teachers, principals, students and parents of students currently serving on the board.

Of the 12 community center board members, nine have personal ties to the former high school campus or to the school district: Joe Hill, current school board member, taught at the high school for many years; Debbie Davis taught and was principal at the elementary school; Kathy Remenar taught at the high school for 38 years and Megan Kirk, Jack Moyer and Jean Elderwind saw their daughters graduate from the high school.

The community center board’s newest members include Adam Biossat, Class of 1997; Allen Huffman, Class of 2003 and Victor Smith, Class of 2005. These young alums grew up on on the old campus are committed to providing quality activities and programs.

All current and past members of the board share a deep appreciation to the Eureka Springs School District for partnering to transform the former high school campus into a vibrant facility engaging youth, families and seniors. The historic Highlander gym has been preserved and activities and programs are provided there daily.

Special projects that the community center and school board have worked on include:

The asbestos abasement and removal of the old high school

By removing this historic but completely unsafe and unusable building, the community gained an outdoor soccer field, a small park and an expansive area for the farmers market and other outdoor gatherings.

The after school program

Administrated by the community center board and funded by the Eureka Springs School District, this program has served dozens of families since 2017. The school district provided the facility, the staff and covered all expenses, allowing the community center to charge a small fee for program attendance. The impact of this program is educationally profound and its low cost is a real boon for working moms and dads. Without the financial assistance of the Eureka Springs School District, it would not exist.

Community Youth Advisory Board

Eureka Springs High School students and their principals are working with community center representatives to plan teen programs and design a new teen gathering space.

Free 27/7 Wifi service

For many, Wifi service is either unavailable or unaffordable. Now parents and their children can take advantage of this service and keep up distanced learning classes right in the parking lot of the community center.

Collaboration and cooperation are the foundation of this positive partnership. The community reaps the rewards but the thanks go to those who recognize that all things of value take effort, time and commitment.

The Eureka Springs Community Center Foundation Board looks forward to identifying new areas for partnering with the Eureka Springs School District and to bringing new rewarding and enriching experiences to the community’s children and their parents in the coming years.

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