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JFK Renovation Set for February Completion
January 17, 2023 – After 14 months of extensive renovations, John F. Kennedy High School will welcome students back to campus when its remodel is completed in February.
Established in the 1960s as one of the first high schools in the nation to be named for the late 35th President of the United States, JFK remained in mostly the same state it was built in until 2021. Since then, the Kennedy campus has also come to host Carter High School and the Career Center, and Career and Technical Education has become a bigger hallmark of JFK’s curriculum. Under the school’s remodel, floorplans and infrastructure have been reimagined to more intuitively support instruction in CTE fields.
“The main drive for the upfit was that the use of the school changed from a more traditional high school education setting to a more CTE-based education,” Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Director of Facilities and Construction Nick Seeba said. “A lot of the spaces needed to be reconfigured to include infrastructure for those uses.”
New Atlantic Contracting bid on the project in August of 2021. Classes moved to Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy when construction began the following autumn. Project Manager Seth Hanner says that his company was still feeling the continued complications of the COVID-19 pandemic at the time. Issues with supplies and unpredictable costs have extended the timeline and budget of the project, although Seeba is grateful that the project didn’t bid any sooner- he’d have expected budgetary issues to be even worse.
“Right around when the job bid was when you couldn’t get any material,” Hanner said. “With the supply chain, nobody could tell you anything. Price volatility was also a huge deal at the time.”
It’s been a long time coming, but the construction department and the contractors are proud of the work they have to show for it. With the exception of the cafeteria and a small group of classrooms, every bit of JFK’s 131,000 square-foot campus has been modified in one way or another. Seeba hopes that students and staff will immediately feel the improvements to the way they engage with curriculum in their new space.
“I hope they get the sense of freshness when they walk in,” Seeba said. “Even though it’s the same walls on the exterior, the space looks new and up to date and fresh.”
JFK’s official reopening ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8.
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