John Adams Middle School may be closed for a year; Madison Elementary would be re-opened in a hurry.|The renovation project at John Adams Middle School continues to evolve and change almost on a daily basis.
Hanging in the balance is the immediate future of Mason City’s seventh and eighth grade classes, approximately 600 students.
Apparently, John Adams Middle School (JAMS) will be holding classes through the first semester which ends in late December. After that, JAMS “may be closed for a full calendar year,” according to Mason City School Superintendent Anita Micich.
NorthIowaToday.com received a return call from Micich Monday afternoon, returning our call made late last week, when we were looking for answers to rumors swirling in the community about the JAMS renovation project. Many of our questions were answered while other questions could not be answered due to the complexity of the project.
Micich told NorthIowaToday.com that the renovation of JAMS has been evolving over the last several months due to newly acquired grants and other funding that became available in late Spring of this year. “Grant funds that became available in late Spring and early Summer changed the course of the project,” Micich said.
Micich further explained that the project would move more smoothly and the school district would get a better deal on smaller projects that were planned if the whole project was done all at once, versus piece by piece. This is where the conversation led to the discussion of the closing of JAMS until the project could be entirely or mostly completed, which would hopefully be by the end of the first semester of next school year. “It would be difficult to hold classes during the construction, as it is.”
“The seventh graders would move to Madison Elementary School and the eighth graders to the High School. The High School can accommodate the eighth graders, that won’t be a problem.”
Micich says a move to Madison for the seventh grade would take a lot of effort from everyone: students, parents and faculty. “Madison is in good shape but needs a real cleaning.” Micich says parents and anyone else is welcome to help in the transition to Madison should it actually take place. She says once a final decision is made, which would be very soon, parents would be notified via mail and a press release.
NorthIowaToday.com took its own tour of Madison Elementary School today, just a few hours after JAMS seventh grade faculty took a tour. The building seems to be in OK shape. However, most rooms had quite a bit of junk and old desks and debris laying around, which might be expected in an unused school building. Dust and regular office trash littered the floors. Micich is right, a major cleaning of the school would be required before any children could attend classes there. That doesn’t include the time for faculty to get moved in and settled, plan bus routes, etc.
NorthIowaToday.com stopped into the office in Madison School and spoke to the Youth Task Force folks, who currently occupy the whole office area in the school. “We were told to start looking to move to a new location,” they said.
Stay tuned to NorthIowaToday.com for the latest on this evolving situation.
Click here to see a photo tour of Madison Elementary School on our Facebook page.