School district moves ahead with planned construction

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Construction of a new maintenance/warehouse facility for the Jackson School District will get underway soon, marking the first phase of improvements that will be funded with money from a $19.8 million bond issue approved by voters last August.

The school board has awarded a $373,000 contract to the low bidder, Penzel Construction Co. of Jackson.

The bulk of the bond issue will go to revamp the aging high school campus. The campus, currently made up of several buildings, will be housed under one roof. The project includes a new library, commons/cafeteria area, events center and classroom building.

School officials said construction at the high school could start this fall.

The 23,000-square-foot, pre-engineered maintenance/warehouse building will be erected behind the district's bus transportation facility near Orchard Elementary School.

School superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson said the new building will provide badly needed storage for everything from general supplies to food products.

"We will have a freezer. We will have a wood shop. We will have a place for computer storage and a work area to repair computers," Anderson said.

Penzel will erect the structure, but the district will keep costs down by doing concrete work and constructing interior walls.

Anderson said the building hopefully will be in place by next spring.

Meanwhile, the district continues to rent storage space in various locations to make do until the new facility opens.

The district tore down a Quonset building at the high school campus last week. That structure, used for maintenance, was razed to make room for new construction at the high school, school officials said.

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