2018-06-13 / Front Page

School demolition begins

By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor

Demolition of the Jenkins County High School/Jenkins County Middle School building on Barney Avenue began last week as the Jenkins County School System prepares to move into its new PreK-12 school building located adjacent to JCHS/JCMS. (Staff photo by Deborah Bennett) Demolition of the Jenkins County High School/Jenkins County Middle School building on Barney Avenue began last week as the Jenkins County School System prepares to move into its new PreK-12 school building located adjacent to JCHS/JCMS. 
(Staff photo by Deborah Bennett)
For approximately 65 years the Jenkins County High School (JCHS) building on Barney Avenue has been a landmark in the City of Millen and Jenkins County. Last week, the beginning phase of demolition of the building, began as the Jenkins County School System prepares to occupy its new PreK-12 school when students return in August.

Crews are currently conducting asbestos abatement, which requires some tear down, with full demolition of the building, including the Jenkins County Middle School (JCMS) building, set to begin the week of June 18th.

An Open House for parents and the community is scheduled for 1-5 p.m. July 31st. During this time, those attending can order/purchase bricks which may be engraved with a name or message in memory/honor of classes by year, groups or just individual names. The bricks will be placed in the courtyard at the new school. The funds from this fundraiser will be used for the courtyard.

The JCHS building was built in 1952-1953 at a cost of $209,245. The Class of 1954 was the first to graduate from the school. The JCMS building was constructed as an addition at a much later date.

The new PreK-12 school design features a 2-story building with different entrances that will allow for separation of elementary aged students from the middle/high aged students. It is funded through a Department of Education Facilities/ Division Low Wealth Grant at an estimated cost of $22 million. The local contribution for the project is estimated to be $3½ million which will be funded with Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) revenue. The one-cent sales tax was initially approved by voters in 2013 for a 5-year period and again received voter approval in the July General Primary Nonpartisan Election.

“A portion of Jenkins County history is being removed, but we’re excited about the opportunities that the new facility will have for our students and our community,” said Jenkins County School Superintendent Tara Cooper.

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