Friday, November 17, 2017

TOP STORY >> Ground broken for high school

Leader senior staff writer

Almost 40 years in the making, shovels hit the dirt Thursday, breaking ground for the new $66 million Jacksonville High School on a rise prominently overlooking Hwy. 67/167.

“It’s a tremendous day for Jacksonville,” according to Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District Board president Daniel Gray.

“The first day we had our own district, we tore down the building and now, in 18 months, we’ll be cutting the ribbon,” he said.


“Our scholars will have a world-class school second to none,” Gray said Friday.

“The community, through its efforts and sacrifices, brought this about,” said Jacksonville High School Principal LaGail Biggs. “It’s a different feeling, actually standing on the ground and realizing the vastness of what they’ve done in preparation for building.”

“I’m very excited and ready to get in and see the vertical movement—it’s a milestone for the city,” she said.

“We’re very proud — it’s a good day for Jacksonville,” according to Super-intendent Bryan Duffie. “We have great appreciation for the community support as we move forward.”


The board has also upgraded the long-range facility plan to include a new middle school instead of upgrading the existing building.

The new high school is slated to open for the fall semester in 2019.

It will be 272,000 square feet of energy-efficient sustainable construction to support an initial enrollment of 1,400 students.

Single purpose spaces such as the dining and media center will be upsized for a 10-year enrollment projection of 1,693 students.


It will include career education spaces for auto body, Simply Delicious restaurant, information technology, robotics, CADD, computer coding and JROTC and other focused study for a total of over 21,000 square feet of space.

Four science labs and 50 additional core classrooms will be included.

The 900-seat auditorium will include an orchestra pit, scene shop and support spaces.

A 2,200-seat competition gym will feature a full practice gym and associated lockers and support space for basketball, volleyball and baseball.

The school will have dedicated choir, art, band, drama and support spaces and a hardened storm shelter.

Athletic Field House facilities include weight-training area, seating, and concessions, support areas for boys and girls field and track along with a press box.

An ADA accessible football/track Stadium with synthetic sports field, 1,500 visitor seats and 2,000 home seats along with separate restrooms and concessions of home and away teams.