JPS schools improving district through bond issue funding

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 8:30 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Bond issue funding is making renovations to schools throughout the Jackson Public School District. Those improvements were approved by voters in 2018.

Callaway High School is one of the seven high schools to be renovated. Work is also being done at elementary schools in the district.

New signage at the front of Callaway High School is just one of the many improvements. Inside, improvements range from new science labs, lighting, bathrooms and the replacement of all windows.

There is new heating and air conditioning. Renovations are underway to the library. The gymnasium is completely overhauled with new maple wood flooring to new bleachers.

Lena Franklin is Interim Construction Director.

“Prior to this we had leaks everywhere throughout Callaway. So now the roof has been replaced,” said Franklin. “We’ve replaced the HVAC and ventilation. So every classroom has a new fan core unit.”

This is principal Harrison Michael’s first year as school leader. He graduated from Callaway in 1994.

“When you arrive at a pristine building fully functional, beautiful on the outside, beautiful on the inside, it’s more conducive for learning and it increases the morale of the faculty and staff and just makes the learning environment more enjoyable,” said Michael.

Seven million dollars was spent on Callaway renovations. Van Winkle Elementary School is among the schools in the district getting a facelift with funding from the $65 million dollar bond issue.

Classrooms and learning patios are repainted with added lighting. Carpeting has been removed and replaced with tile. Renovations were also made to the library.

They are changes Kimberly Williams likes to see. She voted for the Bond Issue in 2018 to improve conditions for her daughter Justice.

“They’re doing a good job. I like how the school has progressed, how it’s looking, how the teacher has more interaction with the kids,” said Williams. “They’re doing more since the pandemic has calmed down a bit.”

A fresh new look will welcome students for the 2021-2022 school year.

“Kids are excited. They are COVID-drained and quarantine-drained. They want that physical presence of a teacher. They love the new bright colors we’ve been able to paint the walls with,” said Interim Executive Director of Facilities and Operations Sandra Robinson. “We think the improvements will help in the fall when we become full in-person.”

Van Winkle received $373,000 for the improvements. Renovations throughout the district are scheduled for completion in May 2022.

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