JCM stadium work planned to start this fall, completed next summer

The Jackson-Madison County School Board had a work session on Monday ahead of Thursday’s board meeting.

Most of the conversation of the two-hour meeting was about facility construction/renovation updates.

Possibly the biggest piece of information that came from the discussion was parts of the timeline that was revealed regarding the construction of a new football stadium for Jackson Central-Merry.

The plan is for the beginning work of that project to start by late September or early October. And a mention about a ribbon-cutting ceremony needing to be scheduled was brought up too.

Board member Jason Compton, who’s the chair of the athletics committee, wanted to make sure everyone in the room understood the main piece of the projected timeline for the stadium.

“The plan is for JCM to be playing its home games in this stadium next fall – like a year from now,” Compton said. “I’m hoping a year from now we’re discussing what all we’re doing to celebrate the first home football game with [board members Andre Darnell and Janice Hampton] bringing out the game ball and doing the coin toss.”

Pope School construction is continuing, although they’re still having to work around the location of where the saferoom will be because the FEMA grant for the saferoom that will help the overall cost of the building hinges on the land the saferoom will be on not being disturbed before the grant is officially approved.

Cary Henson of Henson Construction, is hopeful they’ll get approval and be able to work on the safe room as well, but until then, the only work that’s been done in that area while construction happens around it is routine archaeological work.

Crocker Construction has begun the early work on renovating the old Madison Academic building (old Jackson High building) to be converted into the new JMCSS Central Office.

Superintendent Marlon King said discussions have already begun with a couple of board members about suggestions of what else to put in the building, and he wants all eight (eventually nine) members of the Board to be involved in that discussion.

“I want you all to give me a wish list of what to put in there, because we want this to be a resource center for our entire district,” King said. “It could be a resource center for teachers or an adult education center for parents or anything else you all come up with.

“But I want you to know it’s like a Christmas list. You don’t usually get everything you want on that list, and I want this list to give us ideas to put there. But there’s only so much space available.”

Crocker Construction’s work so far has been to do an assessment of the building and its needs when it comes to the actual structure of the building before the renovation work actually begins.

Renovation on the old Malesus School building continues as well as JMCSS intends it to be the Innovation Center for the district.

According to Joe Albright, who’s working as a building consultant for the district, work has been happening in the building since January of 2022, mostly done by JMCSS custodial staff, including some smaller renovation projects.

And enough work is done, that they can plan on having four classrooms up and going in January with one of them possibly being a temporary office space. Then after that, more classrooms would be added by the time classes resume for the school year in August of 2024.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news