JCCHS construction could top $5.8 million
BY KERRI TESTEMENT
After months of controversy about the condition and status of Jackson County Comprehensive High School, school leaders have a price tag for updating the facility: $5.8 million.
That price includes moving programs out of the Gordon Street Center and having all of the school’s offerings on one campus.
“The existing high school is pretty well utilized,” said Steve McCune of Southern A&E, an architecture and engineering firm hired by the Jackson County Board of Education to study the issue. “There isn’t that much space.”
The facilities at JCCHS became an issue in 2007, shortly after the opening of the new East Jackson Comprehensive High School. A representative of a group of JCCHS parents told the board in December that the facilities at the school were being allowed to deteriorate. The group also claimed inequity among other issues compared to the two high schools.
One of the key concerns of the group was the transportation of students from JCCHS to the Gordon Street Center in Jefferson for Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) classes.
The Gordon Street Center offers programs in manufacturing, family and consumer sciences, health occupations, JROTC, agriculture and early childhood education for JCCHS. The center also has a foods lab and business lab.
Relocating and possibly building more than 21,900 square feet in new space for the CTAE classes may cost an estimated $2.8 million.
Adding space on existing wings at JCCHS for two business labs and for one family and consumer sciences class may be the easiest, according to the feasibility study.
One of the most expensive proposals is moving the professional foods labs to JCCHS, McCune said. That would require moving the kitchen equipment and building new space for the program.
The other CTAE classes would also require new space at JCCHS, according to the study. A new building may be constructed behind the school for those classes, McCune said.
The feasibility study also looked at JCCHS’s future needs and if adding facilities are a possibility.
One of those needs may include a new multi-purpose practice gym with a chorus and multi-purpose room. That 19,300 square-foot building which could be built near the existing auditorium may cost $2.5 million.
The feasibility also provided cost estimates for a new softball field with stands, dressing rooms and concession area; two new, lighted tennis courts; and additional storage in administration.
The school’s steep topography in some areas of the property made selection of the additional facilities difficult, McCune said. The feasibility study included the “easiest, least expensive” proposals, he added.
McCune said the estimates costs included inflation and that he talked to a consultant about getting state funding for the projects. He added that he would discuss the study more in-depth with top administrators, the board and superintendent Shannon Adams.