By ALISON KEMP
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
NORTH JACKSON — A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Jackson-Milton High School/Middle School complex will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at the construction site.
The school will be built just east of the current elementary school at 14110 Mahoning Ave.
Site work, which includes road construction and utilities installation, will begin this fall, Superintendent Buck Palmer said.
Building construction will begin in spring 2008 for the $14.5 million, 81,000-square-foot building. The opening is planned for fall 2009.
The school will be constructed to use geothermal energy.
“This takes place of a conventional gas system,” Palmer said.
He said a well field will be drilled below the school. A liquid substance will be circulated there and will cool or heat the building.
A new branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and the Mahoning County will be built on the school complex, Palmer added.
The school is donating a few acres on the western side of the school plot for the construction. The Lake Milton and North Jackson library branches will close when this new branch opens, Palmer said. It also will replace the school’s library.
The new building will be outfitted with wireless technology, and Palmer hopes the school district will be able to give laptops to every student in the middle school/high school complex for personal use.
He sees the laptops as a “school supply for learning” as technology continues to change.
“We continue to change the way kids learn and teachers teach,” Palmer said, and the laptops will help with these changes, he said.
With the new amenities the school will contain, Palmer said, “The building gives new opportunity. We’re designing with that in mind.”
The August ceremony will have speeches by school board members, Palmer and some students. The school’s design also will be discussed.
The ceremony is open to the public, and residents are encouraged to attend and to bring a shovel. Parking is available at the elementary school football field.