Jackson Hole Middle School

Jackson Hole Middle School

Jackson Hole Middle School’s quest for upgrades may be one step closer to approval.

Assistant Superintendent Jeff Daugherty went to a Wyoming School Facilities Commission workshop last week to discuss the middle school’s roughly $2.5 million plan for enhancements to deal with its capacity problems. Following the workshop the commission put it on the July 11 agenda for the State Building Commission meeting, Teton County School District No. 1 Information Coordinator Charlotte Reynolds said.

“It remained on their budget, or their list of projects for inclusion on the budget,” she said.

The proposed upgrades would alleviate problems that have arisen because of increased student population at the school. A study done by Plan One Architects outlined several options, and the district is pursuing one that includes several changes for “immediate relief.”

Administrators hope to build a new, secure vestibule in the front of the building, expand the dining and kitchen areas and expand some areas in classroom spaces and hallways to improve the flow of students around the building.

“These are relatively affordable remedies, which if implemented, could provide some immediate relief to the congestion issues at JHMS,” the study says.

If the Building Commission approves the school facilities budget, the proposal would be on the agenda for the Sept. 10 Select Committee for School Facilities meeting. The select committee would then consider sending it before the Legislature for approval and funding. That ultimate approval wouldn’t happen until the February budget session.

Since the district is asking for what the study designates as short-term solutions, Reynolds said, it could ask for more upgrades if the commission approves this round and it feels that capacity problems are not alleviated. One of those could be a new pod of sixth-grade classrooms. Giving sixth graders a separate space would be a “positive step in both their academic and emotional development,” the study says.

But first the district wants to gauge the state’s appetite for funding smaller projects.

“Depending on how successful this is, we may go back for other projects,” she said.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-5902 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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