New flexible learning spaces arrive at Jordan High School


New modern, mobile, comfy furniture now offers flexible spaces for students to independently and collaboratively learn at Jordan High School.

The school has new furniture located throughout the hallways, corridors and media center. The Jordan School Board toured the high school prior to the last school board meeting on Monday, Feb. 27.

The school board plans to tour other two school buildings before future board meetings to hear and ask questions about building upgrades. The upgrades are part of the district’s short-term and long-term plans and projected budget. Jeff Vizenor, principal at Jordan High School, and district superintendent Matt Helgerson led the tour.

Phase one is furniture and graphics, phase two is addressing interior structural elements, an phase three is work on more expensive, long-term interior upgrades such as the installation of garage doors that resemble those at Jordan Middle School.

Perhaps as early as next fall, Jordan students and families can shop for Jordan Hubmen and Jaguars apparel and spirit wear inside a school store.

“The idea here is to create a glass wall and create a school store near the front entrance,” Vizenor said.

High school students enrolled in business and economics classes could learn retail sales and management skills by working in the school store.

Near the school entrance, there are future plans to add a bar along the wall outside the high school auditorium.

“It could be a work area where students could stand up or sit down at lunch — it would be a different feel and it would offer more seating work space and more flexible spaces,” Vizenor said.

Frames hung outside the auditorium will most likely be replaced. The large photographs showcasing past theatrical and musical casts will be replaced and hung above the long bar and stools.

This summer the commons area could receive new paint in the wide open, bright space. The glass trophy case area housed in the foyer could see a redesign. The administration is reviewing a better way to reorganize and display the fine arts, academic and athletic trophies.

“We can divide the area into zones with fine arts, an academic and athletic zones and then reorganize our trophies,” Vizenor said.

The gym ceiling will be cleaned and painted in the future.

Roofing above the gym space will need to be addressed and the board will look at future bids for re-caulking and roof joint repair, Helgerson explained. The roof repair could run $20,000 to $50,000. The district will look to find companies that can bid out that work, Helgerson said. The costly roof repair investment will be funded through the district’s long-term facilities maintenance fund, and other future potential building upgrades will come out of the district’s operating fund.

In the future, the music room could receive new, mobile choir risers that offer more flexible learning space for different choirs. These would be similar to choir risers at Jordan Middle School.

“She (choral director Katie Schuld) can use them as her classroom risers — they are really light and they can move quickly,” Vizenor explained.

This summer the theater stage will see a light staining, wood repair and a coat of black paint. In future years, there is a need to fix or replace the sound board, lighting, speakers and the white curtain on stage.

“These are big ticket items — the sound board and dimmer packs aren’t cheap. The cyclorama (white curtain) can run $2,000,” Helgerson said.

The media center will receive some immediate and future interior upgrades. A few school board members took a few minutes to sit and enjoy the modern swivel seating that make a home in the media center. New modern chairs and tables offer flexible learning spaces in the library.

“These round chairs have been a big hit with the kids. You should take a moment to sit because they are really fun — they spin every way,” Vizenor said.

A bar will be added to the library back wall so students can study and work at laptop computers. The school librarian will soon evaluate the library book collection to find out what books have not been checked out in 15 to 20 years. Shelving will be reconfigured to create new and different learning spaces.

The library will see new paint and perhaps a design of a world map along a large wall. Vizenor would like to see clocks installed to tell time in Jordan, representing the United States, and other clocks to tell the time in cities around the world.

“Even though this furniture is expensive, it is not in relation to moving walls. There are students in here every hour who are hanging out and sitting down — they love the space,” Vizenor said.