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Jackson High School Petition Draws Hundreds of Signers, Sparks Revisions

Atlanta Board of Education to vote on Nov. 5.

A petition regarding the roughly $40 million refurbishment of Jackson High School has garnered a lot of community support with more than 600 signers pushing for a strong arts-based learning program.

It also has sparked some changes to the plans — changes the Atlanta Board of Education is expected to vote on at its Nov. 5 meeting.

"The plans have been revised to include an orchestra room and a black box theatre room was on the plans for the lower level. Both of these are positive steps forward for the expansion of the arts program," Grant Park parent and petition creator Leslie Grant said, citing an accounting she received from Jackson High School administration officials.

"It would be nice to see a few other things come to fruition that have been mentioned, like handicap access via the elevator to the roof where we would love to have a large roof garden with a greenhouse that has electrical/water hookups and a field house with restrooms and concession possibilities for the track/softball/tennis area."

The goal of the petition was to persuade Atlanta Public Schools officials to expand the project to include some physical additions to make room for new programs, said Grant who also is co-chair of the Architectural Renovation Committee of the Jackson High School Local School Council and a member of the Southeast Atlanta Communities for Schools.

"This school sits at the center of an amazing, creative, diverse community and can really be a robust community building site,' Grant said.

Leslie Grant October 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM
CORRECTION... The Black Box Theatre is NOT on the plans for the lower level. I wishfully misheard this. What IS there is an undesignated space that could theoretically accomodate a BBT. Since Jackson does not currently have a Drama/Theatre Program as part of their current curriculum, there can't be a "space" designated specifically for this at this time. The hope is that there will a program approved in the near future, and it is important that the space be available BEFORE the project is completed. I think the petition demonstrates how invested the community is/would be with any expansion of the arts programming at Jackson High School. And how important it is to design for potential growth in a direction that would attract and keep students involved and interested in programs that strengthen learning on all levels.
Péralte Paul October 27, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Thanks for the update, Leslie.

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