WRITTEN BY: LIBBY GRACE
The Jackson Public Schools bond proposal overwhelmingly passed with a vote of 2,756 to 1,762 on May 8th, 2018 after an immense campaign by the district. Not only does the bond tremendously affect Jackson High School, but it also assesses many other improvements for all schools throughout JPS.
“Jackson Public Schools will be transformed into a much better learning environment, whether it’s whole new building or new furniture,” school board member Jamie Grace said.
One of the major plans for the bond program is to tear down Frost Elementary School and Cascades Elementary School; combining them together into a more productive and bigger format. Little do we know that the construction has already begun. The perimeter of Cascades has begun to be torn down to prepare for the new and improved school.
“I'm excited; as much as it’s always sad to see two long time schools go, the new school that will be replacing it will be amazing for our district,” Grace said.
The demolition and reconstruction for the new school comes to a grand total of $18,869,110, from the total bond program budget of $86,736,508.
Frost and Cascades aren't the only two schools being combined. Northeast Elementary along with Bennett Elementary will be joining together to house the students from both schools. Jackson Public Schools will be going from ten elementary schools down to seven. Construction on Northeast Elementary School has already begun in classrooms that are not in use, preparing the school for students from Bennett Elementary School.
“Building the the new Cascades Elementary is a once in a generation opportunity,” Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Beal said. “The last time we built a building was Northeast Elementary in 1969.”
Not only is the downsize going to benefit overall efficiency, but the education will be vastly improved. Students will be able to enjoy new furniture in every JPS school to foster a better learning environment. Student achievement is Jackson Public Schools’ main priority and the bond will enhance this goal immensely.
“As every classroom transforms, the look and feel of the district will slowly shift to be much more modern and the way we look at teaching and learning will evolve,” Beal said.
Jackson High School, along with every other school the district, will be undergoing construction to create safe and secure entrances and exits as soon as possible. For JPS this is a priority, due to today's society and the concern it may cause. Although education is extremely important, safety is number one for JPS.
“I am excited to see safe and secure entrances with improved security in all our locations,” Beal said. “Updating cameras, technology, and access to the buildings is long overdue.”
The bond program will make a great addition for Jackson Public Schools, from adding furniture to create a modernized classroom setting to reconstruction on various school properties; JPS will be highly improved. It’s safe to say safety and education are the main goal for JPS faculty; the bond program grants us the ability to create numerous updates to make JPS an improved school community.