Fred's opened its doors for a grand opening ceremony last Friday, with a huge crowd of well wishers on hand. Fred's also gave back to the community, by providing checks to all three schools in the Highland School District. The principals of each school accepted the money, along with Superintendent James Floyd.
The Highland High School Band was present to provide music for the event. Store managers presented prizes for the oldest, youngest and oldest veteran customer, prior to allowing Cherokee Village Mayor Lloyd Hefley to cut the ribbon to welcome the new store.
The store's opening reflects opportunities for local shoppers, and tax revenue for the community.
Also within the community, Eaglecrest Nursing Home and Rehab Center is working actively on an expansion to its nursing facility, which is supposed to be complete in the spring.
With a highway widening project through Ash Flat and Mark Martin's new dealership also due for completion in 2012, Sharp County may experience growth and job opportunities.
The Highland School District is also working on a new field house project, which is progressing nicely on the high school campus. The large facility will enable athletes to practice indoors, and provide an ample training area and locker rooms.
The project is one of the largest taken on in the area. The Rebel Booster Club was responsible for raising the majority of the funds to construct the facility.
Highland is also moving forward with a city park, after hosting a ground breaking ceremony Jan. 27 near Lake Mirandy in Hidden Valley.
The park will allow families an opportunity to be outdoors, spending time picnicking, cooking on the grill, playing basketball and enjoying the playground equipment the park will offer. The park was made available through a USDA grant the city obtained for its construction.
Other development opportunities include the possibility of a natural gas system being implemented, and plans for a hospital or medical facility in the area.
Although some plans will not be effective immediately, the county is hoping to develop infrastructure for future economic growth.