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$10 million grant from state knocks years off renovation project timeline for JCISD Central Campus

November 2, 2021

Jackson, Mich. - The Jackson County Intermediate School District will be able to get started on the second part of a massive renovation project much sooner than originally planned thanks to a big boost in funding from the state.

$10 million was awarded to Jackson County ISD as part of the 2022 state budget, appropriated through a Michigan enhancement grant via Senate Bill 82. The district will use the money to pay for renovations to the former Frost Elementary School, which was purchased from Jackson Public Schools for $1. The project helps Jackson County ISD address future facility needs for the county’s special education population, as well as provide many specialized programs and services at one central location.

“We are so thankful our state legislators saw the value in this project,” said Jackson County ISD Superintendent Kevin Oxley. “It allows us to provide quality facilities for our students with special needs well into the future, without having to ask taxpayers for additional financial resources for this purpose.”

Original estimates for the JCISD Central Campus renovation project, which will be paid for with district savings and bond proceeds, were close to $15 million but may be higher due to increased costs for construction materials and supply chain issues. Initial work includes a new HVAC system, roof repairs, building additions and classroom reconfigurations to meet current building codes and to make the facility compliant with the American Disabilities Act.

Work on the second phase of the project, which involves renovations to the gym, kitchen and other spaces, wasn’t expected to begin for a few years, giving the district time to get funding in place. However, the additional $10 million from the state means the district can get started on that work much earlier than originally anticipated, with bids expected to go out in the spring.

State Senator Mike Shirkey says projects of this magnitude and cost can be hard to accomplish, so that’s why the state stepped in. “This is the kind of project that has an actual measurable return on investment for taxpayers for many years to come,” said Senator Shirkey. Another added benefit is the significant impact this project will have on Jackson County families. “When we look at the special needs services, it’s not just about our children - it’s about families,” said State Representative Julie Alexander. “It’s important to provide them the right environment - academic, social and emotional - to help them be successful.”

Work is expected to begin on Phase 1 in December. The district is hoping to have Phase 1 complete in time for the start of the 2022-23 school year.

Top photo: Exterior of JCISD Central Campus (Formerly Frost Elementary School)

Bottom photo (from left to right): Jackson County Intermediate School District Director of Finance and Operations Roger Auwers, Jackson County ISD Superintendent Kevin Oxley, State Representative Julie Alexander and State Senator Mike Shirkey outside JCISD Central Campus, located at 1226 S. Wisner in Jackson, Michigan.

JCISD Central Campus exterior

JCISD Admin & State Lawmakers outside JCISD Central Campus

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