Jefferson Middle School Renovation To Begin

Major renovation work at Jefferson Middle School is nearing. The project is part of Jamestown Public School’s $68 million Capital Project Authorization that was approved by a public vote in November 2011. P-J photo by Jimmy McCarthy

Students at Jefferson Middle School are nearing the end to yet another school year.

As students get ready to say goodbye for the summer, major renovation work is nearing. Two meetings were held by the Jamestown Public Schools Building Advisory Committee for Capital Review at Jefferson Middle School on Wednesday to update the public on the project, the work schedule and building accessibility as construction nears.

The $8.3 million renovation project entails a broad scope of replacements and upgrades. Some of the notable projects within the scheduled work include HVAC replacement, enlarging the cafeteria, new gym lights and the addition of secure vestibules at the school and administration wing entrances.

Work will go on through the summer up until students arrive back for class in the fall. Teachers and staff will be able to return to the building late August. Work will resume sometime in 2018, which is the target year for major work completion.

The Jefferson Middle School project is part of Jamestown Public School’s $68 million Capital Project Authorization that was approved by voters in November 2011. Vern Connors, director of finance and business affairs, said five capital projects are complete with three currently underway. After the Jefferson Middle School renovation is complete, four more capital projects will remain.

“The Jefferson project is a two-year project because it’s so large. We couldn’t get it down to one year,” Connors said.

Come June 23, the school building will be closed to the public and staff to allow work to begin. In the past, Connors said they haven’t shut down the building. Given the scope and extant of the work, the school building will be shut off to the public primarily as a safety precaution.

Connors said the administrative wing will remain open during the summer. Next summer, the administrative wing will be closed for HVAC upgrades. Relocation of administrative staff will be determined at that time.

The Jefferson Middle School parking lot will also be renovated while baseball and softball fields will be restored. Work is currently underway to replace the Strider football field and track.

As for the addition of secure vestibules, Connors said it will be another stop for people who are buzzed in. As it stands now, people who enter the building “can keep going.”

“Once a person gets buzzed in, they will stop outside the office as staff will talk to them about their intents,” he said.

Enlarging the cafeteria won’t result in any kind of new addition to the building, Connors said. In the gym, bleachers will be placed on the east and west ends. New classroom cabinets will be placed in the A-wing while a roof replacement will fix existing leak issues.

Connors said the district is in the process of doing similar renovation at Washington Middle School. That work is slated to begin in the summer of 2018.