Baraboo School District Celebrates Completion of Jack Young Middle School
On Monday, October 25, 2021, the Baraboo School District celebrated the completed renovation and expansion of Jack Young Middle School with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Built in 1976, the middle school’s last renovation and addition was in 1997. District Board of Education President Kevin Vodak, Superintendent Dr. Rainey Briggs, and Principal Amy Tranel led the celebration thanking staff, teachers, parents, students, and the community for their support.
The completion of Jack Young Middle School was part of the $41.7 million referendum approved by taxpayers in 2019 to repair, modernize and expand the building. Improvements to the middle school were part of the third phase of the district’s long-range plan. Enhancements to Jack Young Middle School included infrastructure upgrades, modernized teaching and learning spaces, expanded undersized common areas, and outdoor spaces with fitness equipment and an amphitheater. To improve student safety and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the previous ramp system and staircases were redesigned. One of the iconic features of the newly renovated building is the monumental staircase, a broad, stately staircase that enhances the architectural design of the school.
A tour of the building followed the ribbon cutting ceremony and debuted the middle school’s entryway mural titled, Tee Wakącąk: Spirit Lake. Created by Little Eagle Arts Foundation, the clay mosaic mural features a thunderbird, which is the district’s mascot and a critical figure of Ho-Chunk tribal lore. The art represents the connection between the thunderbird, local wildlife, and the Ho-Chunk people depicting the original story of Spirit Lake, the Ho-Chunk name for what is known today as Devil’s Lake. Other notable building features include boundaryless learning spaces, natural light in classrooms, improved indoor air quality, integrated technology, and energy efficient systems.
CG Schmidt and Eppstein Uhen Architects worked closely with Baraboo School District to finalize designs and bring the community’s vision to reality. “Jack Young Middle School is unique because of the amazing community support surrounding the project. From the district superintendent to the Little Eagle Arts Foundation members, everyone was involved in an important way,” said Kevin Vodak, Board of Education President.