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Finding passion, purpose

Renovations at WJHS, EJHS and JCTC to begin in spring

For those who missed Tuesday night’s preview, Jessamine County Schools is offering residents and students one more chance to learn about the future renovations scheduled to begin this spring for West Jessamine High School, East Jessamine High School and the Jessamine Career and Technology Center.

Another opportunity to participate will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at West Jessamine High School, located at 2101 Wilmore Road.

JCS set up two opportunities for residents and students to gather to explore JCS programs and help students learn about future options which will be available to them once renovations are completed.

“I think this is going to be the most impactful project Jessamine County has been involved in for years,” JCS Supt. Matt Moore said. “I see this helping our students from the fourth-grade moving forward. We really are bringing these opportunities all the way down to the fourth-grade and getting these kids connected to these programs that will hopefully motivate them and help them understand the instruction that they are involved in at such a young age.”

The project is estimated to cost $30 million for all three campuses.

JCS received a $700,000 work skills investment grant for the advanced manufacturing portion of the project.

The Jessamine County Fiscal Court, city of Nicholasville

and Jessamine County Tourism contributed $160,000 for the synthetic turf to be installed at both high schools.

The Federal Perkins Grant will pay for the majority of the staffing for the added pathways, and the remaining costs for the project will be covered through the JCS construction fund.

The project will be completed in phases, with the first phases scheduled for completion in August, when the synthetic fields will be completed, and additional parking will be provided at WJHS.

The entire project is scheduled for completion by November 2021.

More than six years ago, the district took a strategic vision process where input was provided from 550 participants on how to improve Jessamine County Schools.

The renovation is a step forward with the input provided from residents and will provide a total of 53,524 square feet of additional space and 49,496 square feet of renovated space at EJHS, WJHS and JCTC.

Today, JCS offers 10 of the 16 state-approved pathways for students. After the expansion, JCS will be able to offer students 12 state-approved pathways. These pathways will be available for all Jessamine County students at every school. The schools listed as providing the pathway programs only indicate the location where the program will be housed.

Under the new renovation, pathways will be as follows: game design, information technology, health science, biomedical, business/e-commerce, marketing and financial services, hospitality, culinary arts, family and consumer sciences, food science, early childhood development, military leadership, pre-law, fire science, pre-engineering, advanced manufacturing, construction, animal science, vet technician, agriculture mechanics, horticulture, agriculture business and environmental sciences. The diesel mechanics program will still be offered at the Eugene S. Peel bus garage.

“The majority of everything (now) is at JCTC and we have bowered some space from the Early Learning Village and a few other campuses,” Moore said. “All of our students will have transportation to any of these facilities. So, it may be likely that a student from East High will go to West High for animal science.”

JCS said the benefits of this include reduction in student travel time, transitions and instruction time, additional college and career opportunities for students, increased space for growing the student population in Jessamine County and improved athletic and recreational facilities.

“JCTC will be content classes,” Moore said. “What that means is we will have students that will go to JCTC and they will also take an English class there or a math class. We think that will reduce the likelihood students will have to take classes they are not necessarily as interested in or have to travel multiple times back and forth.”

The community will benefit from the renovations as well.

Renovation designs include enhanced security, improved traffic flow, additional parking and a plan to make schools and roads safer.

The increased security offered at each school will include a secure vestibule and a badge-secure entrance.

The expanded educational opportunities were also designed to equip students with the skills they need to enter the workforce.

“One of our goals is to help students find their passion and purpose,” Moore said. “If we do this the right way, we think that students will have the most powerful connections that will turn into true employability options when they graduate.”