Madison County schools undergo improvements as school year begins - - Jackson, MS

Madison County schools undergo improvements as school year begins

By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

MADISON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Construction crews are in a race to complete as many projects as they can before the school bell rings Wednesday.  Sunday workers were at Ann Smith Elementary School giving it a facelift.

"There was four classroom additions and extensive remodeling to the front of that building. That is one of the oldest buildings in the district, so we had a good bit of work to do there," said Madison County School District Superintendent Mike Kent.

He said Ann Smith Elementary is just one of many construction projects at each of the district's 22 schools.  Every elementary school is getting a science lab. Twelve classrooms are being added on at Madison Middle School and are scheduled to be completed in December.  Construction workers are preparing the new Gluckstadt High School for the 2011-2012 school year.

"The new Gluckstadt High School will relieve the over crowding at Madison Central High School," said Kent.

Velma Jackson and Ridgeland High Schools' football fields are being upgraded to artificial turf. Ridgeland High Principal Lee Boozer said despite weather delays, the field will be ready for the first home game.  "It's not like the old original artificial turf.  It's much safer, much softer, much better playing surface.  We can play on it whether its raining or not," said Principal Boozer.

A $61 million bond issue passed last year is making all of the improvements possible.  Although many of the construction work will continue into the school year, it will not disrupt the students learning inside the classrooms.

"We're going to get them in class, get them fed, get them safely home. I can assure you of that," said Kent.

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