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Payson Schools Winds Up Construction Projects

What a difference three years makes. Since November 2006, when Payson Unified School District voters approved a $34 million bond, Payson schools have gotten a real facelift.

Take Julia Randall Elementary School. All that remains of the old JRE is the historic Julia Randall rock building (more on that later). An entirely new Julia Randall anchors Main Street and Green Valley Park. The design reflects the western heritage on Main Street and has received kudos from the community.

Then there’s Rim Country Middle School. A combination of new buildings and remodels of older buildings have made the middle school 21st-century ready. A fresh coat of paint and trim color all the way around unifies the buildings. The campus is now fully fenced for security purposes.

The district’s other four schools made changes that aren’t as apparent, but certainly improved security, play areas, interior comfort and square footage.

Frontier Elementary School

One of the most interesting and dramatic projects is the complete remodel of the historic Julia Randall rock building from the kindergarten, music and PE rooms of the old JRE into the new home of the Payson Schools District Office.

The 1930′s-era rock building was built by Payson residents for its students. Old photos allowed architects to design and place reproduction windows in spaces that had been blocked in over the years. The wood flooring was painstakingly sanded, varnished and restored to beautiful condition. The interior walls are weight-bearing so the configuration of classrooms was retained while efficient office space was created. The imposing new portico helps the building hold its own against the backdrop of the new Julia Randall Elementary School. The Julia Randall rock building is a state-of-the-art example of historic preservation and re-purposing of old school buildings. Visitors are always welcome.

New and remodeled buildings are energy efficient and more secure for students and staff. They project the high level of learning and instruction that goes on within.

Payson Unified School District is grateful for a community that shared its vision for its bond project.

 One of the last construction projects from the November 2006 bond election is the long-awaited Agriculture Building at Payson High School. Currently under construction,these photos show the progress made over the last few months. The building will feature a wifi connected classroom and laptops for all students, a fully equiped shop, small animal exam rooms and a large arena for showing livestock. The new Agriculture Education teacher, Miss Jadee Garner, and her students are eager to take possession of the new building after the 2010 Winter Break. No one is more proud, however, than long-time Ag teacher and current Career Technical Education Coordinator Wendell Stevens.