By Eric Althoff
ATLANTA—Designer Cooper Carry and general contractor MEJA Construction have provided an entirely new vision for Jonesboro High School, located in the southeast suburbs of Atlanta. Half of the old school was demolished – as classes continued to be in session – to make way for new facilities.
Cooper Carry’s new look for school debuted last August and features motivational artwork, including large images and quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and former President Barack Obama. Images of other notables from history included in the design are Cesar Chavez, Malala Yousafzai, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, John F. Kennedy, Maya Angelou and Serena Williams and featured along school hallways .
The redesigned school features a two-tier main thoroughfare for pedestrians that bisects the school and connects the old areas to the new ones. The “main street”, as it is known, features two-story glass windows on both sides, allowing unobstructed views to the outside while letting natural light into the street itself, providing a central thoroughfare and orientation for the whole school.
The redesigned interior allows for better people flow and also provides learning spaces more in line with the educational needs of modern high schools. In addition, the “outer shell” of the school has been upgraded and new insulated walls and solar reflective roofs have been installed. To increase energy efficiency, the HVAC system and electrical systems have also been updated.
MEJA Construction constructed a physical education facility including a gymnasium, weight room, locker rooms and track. Other areas that were to be built included a music room and media center, a new cafeteria, as well as a vocational training center. New classrooms were installed so that Jonesboro students could be instructed in areas such as technology, culinary arts, hairdressing, woodworking, and cosmetology.
The entire school has been re-oriented facing Mount Zion Blvd. to now look at McDonough Street, which is busier and therefore more public.
Sophia Tarkhan, associate director of leadership at Cooper Carry, said in a recent statement that her company has worked with Clayton County School Board members and Superintendent Morcease J. Beasley to shape a collective vision for the present and future. future of the school.
“Jonesboro High School was originally built in the 1960s and has seen many additions over the years, creating a disjointed appearance from the street and making it difficult for students to navigate the school,” said Tarkhan. As a result, it made creating a unified look for the 21st century campus a bit difficult.
Ronick Joseph, Construction Manager for Clayton County Public Schools, added, “Working with Cooper Carry, we have created an exceptional learning environment where students can thrive and be engaged and inspired every day. The new Jonesboro High School is another example of the great things happening in Clayton County. »
“No matter where you are,” Tarkhan said of the redesigned school, “if you can see Main Street, you can find your way.”