When the Jackson County Intermediate School District (JCISD) set out to find a central location to improve services, they looked to the heart of the Jackson area. “The City of Jackson is geographically in the middle of the county, allowing for more efficient bussing and staffing to serve students,” said Superintendent Kevin Oxley.
Leaders didn’t have to look long before they found the perfect opportunity in the City, the former Frost Elementary School on S. Wisner Street. Closed and facing demolition, district leaders saw the school as a solution for both JCISD and Jackson Public Schools (JPS). JPS saved the projected $1 million they would have spent on demolition and put it toward other facility renovations.“JCISD was able to solve our facility problems by renovating the 125,000 square foot facility for a fraction of the cost of what building a new facility would take. This was truly a win-win-win for JPS, JCISD and county taxpayers,” Oxley said. Following a $1 purchase from JPS in 2021, the ISD launched renovations to make the building a modern and accessible space.
In fall 2023, students were welcomed to the new Central Campus for its first full school year. The rejuvenated facility offers a wide range of special education services for students ages 3 to 26, along with early childhood education. Maureen Keene, Assistant Superintendent and Director of Special Education, says students are also learning outside the building. "It allows us to take advantage of the bus line to teach our students to use public transportation, as well as makes local businesses more accessible to provide real life educational opportunities for our students,” Keene said.
Oxley says support from the community has helped make the new Central Campus a success. “The City worked with us on appropriate traffic flow and Jackson County Parks helped by allowing us to park at The Cascades during construction. The intergovernmental cooperation was greatly appreciated,” Oxley said.