The money for the renovations came from the district's building fund, which can only be spent on facilities.
The improvements aren't just cosmetic, but also satisfy the desegregation order from federal court.
Jacksonville High School is wrapping up renovations before the new school year.
"The City of Jacksonville helped with that, to retrim and take down the walls," says school community liason Jada Ellis.
The changes include a redesigned stairwell, an ADA-compliant chair lift, remodeled offices and improvements in the cafeteria.
"The students definitely want a school they can be proud of," Ellis says. "I know this is, we're on our way to that, that's for sure."
It's made for a dusty summer, but well worth it.
"I think there's a lot of enthusiasm for the changes that we've made," says Pulaski County Superintendent Jerry Guess.
Guess says the district spent $8 million on upgrades for a dozen schools.
"We had some building fund money, and thought there'd be no better way to spend it than to get the buildings in better shape for the students," says Guess.
For example, Jacksonville middle got a face lift, and there are now new cafeterias at Robinson High, College Station and Sylvan Hills Elementaries.
But one of the most dramatic makeovers was at Jacksonville High, where a pair of curving staircases were leveled for a more inviting view, reflecting changes inside and out.
"I think it's important our facilities match our commitment to our students in terms of academic programming," says Superintendent Guess.
Dr. Guess says enrollment is up in the PCSSD, but they don't have the numbers yet.
At Jacksonville they were expecting new enrollment of 180 students, but as of Thursday it was 270.
Administrators say the community is starting to recognize that good things are happening at Jacksonville High.