By Contributing Writer Riley Kim (’24)
A construction project in the Jamesville-DeWitt school district was approved by J-D residents in December of 2019. This plan had a total capital cost of $33 million. The goal of the project was to update and modernize instructional space, improve energy efficiency, and update critical infrastructure. Construction was split between the high school, middle school, and elementary schools and started in June, 2021.
The construction that occurred within the high school was the gutting of the lower level in the south wing of the school. It renovated the old wing to create an area for a science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) wing. The STEAM hub brings together Technology, Maker Space, Photography, Painting/Drawing, Ceramics, and the Woodshop all into one area of school. In addition to the creation of the STEAM hub, the construction involved select lower level classroom renovations, select roof replacements, solar panels, boiler replacements, and energy efficient improvements.
The bulk of the $33 million project was focused towards the middle school. Houses 1-3, which are primarily classrooms for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, were renovated to create a central flexible learning space at the core of each house. Renovations were also done to the Library-Media Center, Faculty Suite, locker rooms, technology classrooms, and main corridor. There were also installations of solar panels, pool repairs, and enhancements to the cafeteria.
The elementary schools also received renovations, though minor ones. Moses DeWitt Elementary received a renovated entrance, LED lighting, and energy efficiency improvements. Jamesville Elementary received a renovated gym, public toilet rooms, LED lighting, and energy efficiency improvements. Finally, Tecumseh Elementary received LED lighting and energy efficiency improvements.
The construction in the high school is still ongoing according to the Director of Facilities, Jason Crawford. He, when asked by RamPage, stated that, “There are still some things that need to be done.” He mentions how some of the things that still need to be done are changes that were made late into construction and because materials sometimes have very long lead times it is common that these lag. He assured RamPage that the main components of the high school construction have been completed, though they are still finishing up with the softball fields and locker rooms. Finally, Jason Crawford said, “Construction will continue through the end of this month with some follow up early in November, including the additional work necessary. The design changes that were made are expected to be completed in about the same timeframe.” He explains that J-D can expect to see the construction finished by early to mid November.
J-D high school students have seen the construction going on for almost 2 years. Now that we’re in the home stretch, students and teachers alike are excited for the construction to finally be completed.