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JPS Breaks Ground On JHS Capital Improvements

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Jamestown Public Schools officials and construction partners officially broke ground on Phase 2 of the district’s $86.5 million dollar Capital Improvements Project on Friday morning at Jamestown High School. District taxpayers approved the project in May 2021.

“The cornerstone of our school district, we are excited to officially break ground on what we hope will be transformational capital improvements at Jamestown High School,” said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, superintendent. “For nearly a century, JHS has served generations of students. These improvements will allow it to serve generations more while aiming to keep our students warm, safe, and dry by modernizing classrooms and student spaces, enhancing safety, security, and technology, and providing essential maintenance to these spaces.”

On hand for the groundbreaking in addition to Whitaker were JPS Board of Education Vice President Joseph Pawelski, JHS Principal Allyson Smith, student representatives to the Board of Education, Abrielle Monaghan and Karlee Rock, as well as Richard Krouse, Cliff Ord, and Connor Harrigan from Young & Wright Architectural and Wayne Scott and Timothy Voigt from Turner Construction Company. 

The second incarnation of Jamestown’s sole high school, the current JHS and Industrial Arts Building opened in November of 1935 as part of a federal public works project made possible by the New Deal. Total construction cost was $1,264,200 and the total project cost was $1,394,900. Additions were completed in 1967 — the annex wing of the building, which connected the main building to the Industrial Arts Building — and in 1986 — with the addition of James F. McElrath Gymnasium. 

The improvements that will begin this summer will mark the most substantial work to the building in nearly 40 years. Among other improvements, renovations will be made to the building’s information technology systems,second floor classrooms, bathrooms, and hallways on the second floor and basement, the “Old Gym,” cafeteria, courtyard, auditorium, structural repairs to the pool, parking lot, and retaining wall.