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Jenks Gazette

New School Year Brings Finished Projects to Jenks

Contributing Writer

NEW SCHOOL CELEBRATION: Jenks administrators, educators and board members celebrate the opening of Northwest Elementary, the first elementary school in 26 years. Cutting the ribbon is school Principal Lynette Talkington; with her is District Superintendent Dr. Stacey Butterfield.

BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers

In August, Jenks Public Schools opened Northwest Elementary, the district’s first elementary school in 26 years, and its High School Dining Hall, both in time for the 2017-2018 school year.

Northwest Elementary is located at 7625 S. Elwood Ave. The building is 160,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 1,500 students.

The building was designed with four classroom wings that branch out from a central administrative area. The school also includes two gymnasiums located at the center of the school, a health clinic, STEM lab, and three playground areas with in-ground slides, which were developed to accommodate the physical geography. 

The school’s parking lots were designed especially with traffic flow in mind to alleviate traffic on Elwood Avenue, said Superintendent Dr. Stacey Butterfield at the building’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The school site features one road for cars and another road for buses, with much of the traffic directed to a large parking lot behind the school.

District administrators’ decision to build an elementary school stemmed directly from student growth.

“We continued to add classrooms at East, Southeast and West elementary schools over the years, but we reached a point of ‘How big is too big for these schools and our students?’” noted Butterfield. Administrators also consulted researchers and enrollment projections.

GH2 served as the architect, and Crossland Construction served as construction manager for the project.

The High School’s new Central Campus Dining Hall is a 35,000-square-foot facility with a serving and dining capacity of 2,200 people.

The High School’s original dining hall was built in 1967 and had been renovated five times over the years to accommodate growth.

When the district saw that a sixth renovation was needed, administrators determined that it would be more feasible to construct a new facility as opposed to adding onto the building again, said Butterfield.

While the original cafeteria could fit 700 students, the new facility comfortably seats 1,300 students at each lunch period, she continued.

The Dining Hall also contains a food prep and production area that is approximately one-and-a-half times larger than the previous cafeteria.

One of the main features of the building is a high capacity serving room with the capability of offering 12 serving lines.

The Dining Hall was built to sustain the next 10 years of campus growth and was designed in a manner that will allow for a future planned expansion, Butterfield said.

LD Kerns Contractors served as project manager and KSQ Design as architect.

Updated 09-11-2017

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