Renovations at Jefferson City High School are about 20 percent complete — but it's enough to start to notice some of what the building will look like come fall of 2019.
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Unlike at the Capital City High School building site, JCHS and Nichols Career Center are serving students throughout the construction process — and that's where JCHS Assistant Principal Jacob Adams comes in.
Adams' goal as project coordinator of the JCHS administrative team is "to make only me notice this," he said as he looked out over the dirt and snow of what used to be the paved space between Nichols and JCHS, that will in time be enclosed with glass and become the main entrance for both buildings.
Temporary classrooms inside the building and classroom trailers outside are being used as renovations continue.
"You don't notice a ton of it," Adams said of construction noise — only some vibrations immediately next to where heavy equipment's been digging next to the main office.
Inside the building, noticeable changes include the art classrooms that are where the library used to be — the library is in a temporary but furnished and finished space now — and cushioned benches and countertop-type shelves where lockers used to be, in freshly-painted hallways.
Adams said it's been more than 10 years since students were assigned lockers, so the lockers won't be missed.
He said students have taken well to the new group work spaces adjacent to hallways and classrooms that have been renovated, and students have liked the incorporation of more glass in walls.
He has not noticed students being distracted by having more glass, and he said teachers were already used to controlling spaces in the halls — now they just have dedicated spaces there.
Teachers are "really using all the heights and spaces we haven't been able to use before," Adams said.
While Jefferson City Public Schools' Chief Financial and Operating Officer Jason Hoffman estimated the work at JCHS is 20 percent complete, Cary Gampher of The Architects Alliance said at the beginning of this month that work at CCHS was 31 percent complete — on average across the site — in terms of dollars spent.
The plan is to have Capital City's roof finished and the building enclosed by Thanksgiving.
Gampher added one floor of CCHS — 40 classrooms, the kitchen, cafeteria and administrative offices, according to an updated renovation and construction timeline posted by JCPS — will be completed by the time freshmen and sophomore students first arrive next August.
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JCPS Director of Secondary Education Gary Verslues said the district is preparing for Capital City's gym to be ready by January 2020, but the goal is to have it open Nov. 1, 2019.
JCPS estimates the remaining features of CCHS — including the auditorium — will be completed in December 2019, and the final classrooms to be renovated at JCHS will be completed in January 2020.
The district plans on having work on the JCHS band and choir classrooms and courtyard addition begin this spring, with the renovation of the current gym, cafeteria, kitchen, commons, administrative offices and Nichols shop classrooms complete over summer 2019.
The building connector between Nichols and JCHS and new practice gym that also serves as storm shelter are anticipated to be complete in October 2019.