Junior high school in Jackson gets a big lift

Saturday, August 10, 2002

The way students and teachers tell it, the hallways at R.O. Hawkins Junior High in Jackson, Mo., last year were more like the running of the bulls than an institution of learning.

Students report being stepped on and shoved against lockers as they went to class in the crowded building with narrow hallways.

That's because 800 students were crammed into a school built for 600 students.

It took the district three tries at the polls in 2000 to get the money to renovate and expand R.O. Hawkins.

A bond issue finally received approval when the school board pared the issue down to the bare bones: a $6 million bond and an increase in the debt-service levy of only 10 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation.

Surely voters will understand the expense was well worth it when they see teachers moving out of custodian closets, where classes were being taught, and into well-lit, well-ventilated classrooms.

The 56,217-square-foot addition includes 22 new classrooms and a new cafeteria area.

The Jackson community can be proud of its support for this kind of project.

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