LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – With the breaking of ground Wednesday, the construction of a new school in Little Rock is underway.

The Dr. Marian G. Lacey K-8 Academy is going up where McClellan High was.

Lacey Academy will be a jewel in the LRSD crown, with 64 classrooms, six labs and eight fine arts classrooms. The school will also include a tornado shelter, a first for the district.

LRSD Director of Elementary Education Darian Smith said the school will bear the name of an educator who was jewel herself to the district and her students.

“Doctor and Mrs. Lacey were my Sunday school teachers. From that young age all the way through college, she pushed me, she challenged me she checked on me,” Smith recalled. “I remember my freshman year in Morehouse College I got a knock on my dorm room door, they came down for a campus visit but could not leave without checking on me.”

Lacey K-8 Academy will serve 1,400 students from Cloverdale, Baseline and Meadowcliff schools. It is scheduled to be finished in late 2023.