Jefferson BOE Received College Expansion Updates During Board Retreat | News

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Enrollment projections indicate that Jefferson Middle School will have nearly 200 more students by 2030, so it’s good that expansion work on the JMS building is underway.

The Jefferson Board of Education received an update on this project, as well as other facility projects, at its recent spring retreat March 10-11.

Craig Buckley of James W. Buckley & Associates updated the BOE on work that has already begun on the project and the next steps towards completing the expansion.

The first phase of the project is 23,516 square feet and is currently being tendered. The expected cost of this phase is $6.57 million.

It adds an entirely new wing which will also connect the existing building to the gymnasium. The wing includes eight classrooms, a science lab, an agricultural lab, and a music room. Because the wing will occupy the flat area once used as a football pitch, it requires little field work.

Future phases will include site works and will require a new driveway and parking lot in front of the school. Future plans include expanding the north and east wings of the building and constructing a brand new gymnasium. The existing gymnasium will be converted into laboratories.

The remainder of the project will cost $20.4 million and add 78,581 square feet to the building.

The extension project comes at just the right time. CFO Kim Navas presented enrollment projections for the remainder of the decade. JMS currently houses 1,013 students, but is expected to exceed 1,100 students by 2026 and reach 1,190 students by 2030.

Jefferson High School will experience the strongest growth. JHS currently has 1,180 students and is expected to have approximately 1,600 students in 2030.

It also has an expansion in the pipeline. Buckley presented a graphic showing 28 additional classrooms and an ROTC room in a two-story addition at the back of the building. The existing buildings on this side of the school will be demolished. Buckley said he thought it was possible to expand this new wing further to add about 10 more classrooms.

This is only the beginning of JHS expansion plans, but future expansions have yet to be designed.

More students also means more vehicles occupying the school parking lot. The expansion of existing lots and the addition of a new entrance and exit were discussed.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other cases, the Jefferson BOE:

•Received financial updates from Navas. JCS has $5.78 million in the fund balance for fiscal year 2021 and plans $6.33 million for the fund balance for fiscal year 2022.

• Heard a presentation from Dana McArthur of The John Maxwell Company on creating and executing a vision for the JCS.

BOE MEETING

Prior to the board retreat, the Jefferson BOE held its monthly board meeting. During the meeting, the BOE:

•approved the purchase of 68 additional interactive panels for $98,600, thus completing the project to replace obsolete projectors with touch panels. The endgame was previously planned for the future, but the price of the panels is expected to rise significantly, so the BOE has approved the purchase of the panels at the current price.

•Approved a $17,529 quote from Acool Coating Systems for the grading, scaling of a concrete slab and installation of ballard posts for the JMS storage building.

•approved the lease of seven copiers from Athens Digital Systems Inc. The lease will cost $2,251 per month, which is $100 less than the previous lease for just six copiers.

•approved an $8,875 offer from Freightliner to paint the bookmobile.

•approved the addendum to the school system contract for strategic derogations.

• Declared an executive desk and a cabinet as surplus items.

• I heard about the awards JCS received at the Georgia School Public Relations Association conference. The JHS Athletics Website and Back-to-School Guide earned the JCS Communications Department Gold Awards for Website and Special Purpose Publishing. The department won four silver awards and four bronze awards.

•Received an update on the JHS Fire Safety Course. The pathway will see students earn a Firefighter 1 Certificate which will qualify them for employment in any fire service.

•Received an update on the refurbishment of the Jefferson High School Media Center.

• Recognized the JHS basketball, wrestling and swim teams that all enjoyed playoff success in 2021-22.

•Recognized JHS student Brock Brush who was selected for the Georgia All-State Orchestra.

• recognized Claire Brehm and Hannah Parker whose works were selected for the Capitol Art Exhibit in Atlanta. Parker’s work was also selected for the Atlanta High School Art Show.

• recognized CTAE Business Partners of the Month. Howell Orthodontics was recognized for February and Jackson EMC was recognized for March.

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