Jackson district expects winter finish for high school revamping

Thursday, July 29, 2010
The media center is part of the last phase of construction at Jackson High School. (Fred Lynch)

A spiderweb structure hangs over the construction zone that will later be full of books and study tables for students at Jackson High School.

The media center is part of the final building phase at the high school that vastly increases the expanse of the high school, has curriculum enhancements and features natural light.

"That gives you some volume," said superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson. As he stood in what will be the school's new entrance hallway, he said natural light was an important component of the project and will brighten parts of the building like the media center.

Workers have started laying brick, and Anderson said the roofing should begin soon. He said he expects the new building to be finished during the winter.

Workers lost more than 30 construction days with heavy rain in the fall, he said.

Construction of foreign language classrooms is underway on the top level of the last phase at Jackson High School. (Fred Lynch)

"The weather will be a nonfactor once the roofing is done," Anderson said.

When Jackson students return to school Aug. 16, it will be the fourth year of construction. Over the years student traffic patterns have shifted and classes have adopted new space. Family and consumer science classes are currently housed in converted space in the school's old cafeteria, for example.

"The students just handled it tremendously," Anderson said.

In 2005, voters approved a $19.8 million bond issue to revamp the high school. Construction began in fall 2006. Incrementally students have moved into new art and music facilities. Last August, the school started using its new cafeteria and dining area.

The new building, which broke ground in the fall, includes 25 classrooms, a media center, administrative offices and health services. The last portion of the project will cost about $8 million. It replaces a building that once housed agriculture, music and family and consumer science programs.

"We had to do it in stages, otherwise we wouldn't have room for programs," Anderson said.

Guidance counselors will move into the nearby old administrative offices centralizing the school's operations, Anderson said. Other programs, he said, will be enhanced with the new construction.

The building features a small broadcasting studio, a foreign language room with a small kitchen for class activities and a playground for the early childhood program in the family and consumer science department.

"We're getting a lot of facility for what we're doing," he said. The 66,000-square-foot building, built into a slope on the southeast side of the campus, has three levels.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

315 S. Missouri St. Jackson, MO

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