Concerns raised over Jackson Central-Merry, Madison Academic construction

JACKSON, Tenn. — The upcoming school year for students in the Jackson-Madison County School System is just weeks away.

“I’m hearing so many irregularities as far from what was promised,” a board member said.

Concerns from board members arose at Tuesday’s Education Vision Committee meeting, while Crocker Construction gave an update on if the construction for Jackson Central-Merry and Madison Academic campuses will be finished in time for students to return in August.

“At most of every meeting we’ve had for the last four months or five months months I’ve attended, I brought up the challenges that we were facing in this moment in time, but it was not until this last meeting I felt like the challenges were one we could not overcome,” said Hal Crocker, the owner of Crocker Construction.

Crocker says the initial plan was to have both schools ready by Aug. 1. However, delays with construction work canceled that process.

Crocker now says JCM will not be completed until Sept. 10, and Madison Academic will be finished by Oct. 5.

“Is there any way you can speed up some of this?” one board member asked.

“Quite frankly, when we started the job a year and a half ago, our intent was to actually finish it from the standpoint of the school system being able to get it at least a month early,” Crocker said.

Board members say with the delays, they are concerned students will not have a place to learn heading into the upcoming school year.

“We’ve talked about the holidays being disrupted, we’ve talked about contractors being disrupted, suppliers being disrupted, but what about our children’s education,” said Jeff Wall, Madison County Commissioner and Education Vision Committee member.

Superintendent Dr. Marlon King says there has been a discussion for options regarding a temporary place for students until construction on both new schools is finished.

“But in the meantime, our principals narrowed it down from four options to two options, and I think they will marry the two options,” King said. “Meaning that students will stay in their current locations and co-op with the schools.”

King says more details regarding those options have been discussed with parents and students from JCM, and there should be more information about both schools coming soon.

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