Jackson Middle School/ Resource Center

Demolished
313 Sherman Street

Built in 1938 as an addition to the 1908 High school building; spared demolition in 1981; converted to Resource Center in 1997; Closed in 2006; Demolished in January 2011 to make way for a new building

Photos 

Parking lot and courthouse

Photo taken by Jason Smith

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Map 

Description 

The Jackson Middle School/County Resource Center Building was built in 1938 as an annex to the 1908 High School Building that was located next door. The three-story building served as a venue for classes plus it had a combination basketball court and theatre, a library on the second story, and administration offices and lounge on the first floor. An additional building was built to the southeast of the 1938 building in 1962, which hosted a cafeteria, industrial and graphic arts areas, and classes on the top floor of the two-story complex. The 1908 high school building was razed in 1981 when the new high school at 1128 North Highway was open and the Middle School served grades 6-8 until it was converted to the Jackson County Resource Center in 1997. This was part of the consolidation process that took place between Jackson and Lakefield and which sent students in grades 6-8 to the former high school in Lakefield. Concerns over the structure and energy efficiency resulted in the building's closure in 2006 and since then, it has been a focus of a fierce controversy between the county commissioners who want the 1938 building torn down in place of a new, more energy efficient building, and those wanting to save it for reuse, arguing that the building was built as part of the Works Progress Administration and it would conform nicely with the Jackson County Courthouse, which is located right across the street from it. It is a battle that continued until one side submitted to defeat, but it's a question of how: through the polls and enough fund-raising to save the 1938 structure and reuse it, or through the wrecking ball. That question was answered in December of 2010 by the District Court which ruled that safety of the building outweighed its historic significance. The county commissioners in response to the ruling made haste in signing an agreement with Wold Construction to demolish the building and reach a settlement with the preservation committee to pay them the bond in exchange for its silence and non-involvement. Less than four weeks later after salvaging some of the relicts to be put on display at the county historical society, the 1938 building was razed in favor of a new but yet smaller building which would house all the county governmental agancies. The advantage would be that all the governmental facilities would be within a four square distance of each other. However, one still questions the potential for reusing the 1938 building for the same purpose as demolishing the building and replacing it with a new one will cost county taxpayers millions of dollars, which is something nobody can afford. Plus losing this building will make Jackson look more estranged to many who have grown up in this community of 3400 residents. How the new building will appear once it is finished will be presented here once it is finished.

Update Log 

  • February 14, 2011: Updated by Jason Smith: Landmark has been foolishly demolished
  • September 29, 2010: Added by Jason Smith

Sources 

  • Jason Smith - JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net