District 117 releases phasing plan for Jacksonville Middle School

By Ryne Turke on January 24, 2016 at 8:54am

A preliminary phasing plan for the next three years has been released for the Jacksonville Middle School project.

District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek talks about the construction projects starting over the summer.

“The current locker rooms and the northeast section of the building, where we have the band room and special education rooms, should be done by the beginning of the school year. The current second gym, which will be built into the new gym, should be done by October or November.”

The existing gym will be functional the entire first semester.

The east side of the middle school, where elective class wings currently connect to the media center, will be transformed into the new sixth grade center.

Due to areas of the school being unavailable during construction projects, the District 117 board made plans to provide portable classrooms for teachers and students.

Ptacek says the trailers, which will be used next year for 8th graders, will be placed on the football field near Jacksonville Middle School.

He says it will be “quiet an endeavor” to put these trailers on foundations, hook up wiring, update safety features and put in restrooms.

“There is going to be one unit with 12 classrooms and another with a media center, since our media center will be under construction. We will have some offices and another two classroom unit. So we are going to have about 14 classroom spaces out there.”

Ptacek says there will be an initial purchase price for the trailers along with a monthly rental fee. District 117 has yet to put out a bid for portable classrooms. Early plans show the portable trailers will be in Jacksonville by July.

Ptacek says the west side of the building will go under construction during the second semester.

“Which are the two grade levels where the 7th and 8th grade core classes are. That will be under construction, as well as the current gym. Administrative offices will be converted into the new auditorium and the cafeteria area.”

Ptacek realizes it will be a challenging year, but trusts the students and staff will adapt around the changes.