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   Front of School

   The Thomas Jefferson SBDM team met today and all faculty were invited. They discussed the existing status of the bond update and displayed concept art for the front of the building. The color scheme is shifting from Columbia Blue to more neutral grays and whites.  The front of the building will have dark gray brick as well as blue and red glass accents in a vertical pattern. 

    Initially the plans were to build the new wing and have it connect to the band hall wall, but due to the need for maintenance trucks to get through as well as requirements to have an emergency exit, they are now leaving a 17 ft. gap between the two buildings. 

   In the new wing, incoming visitors will be diverted into the main office waiting area. There will be numerous offices in the main entry area for data, principals, etc. and the clinic will also be moving into the new area. 

   The library is getting a drastic renovation as well. Floor to ceiling glass will replace the north end of the library, and they are raising the low area of the library roof (right above the couches) to accomodate the new glass windows. It will make the space feel much larger. The check in desk will be moving toward the library storage area, and a small classroom will also be added. 

   The Arts Departments are in luck and are really going to be transformed. The art classrooms will be where the admins currently are and a new kiln will be installed with the new pottery area. The Theater Department will be receiving an outdoor scene construction area that is paved and set up with benches just behind the auditorium. They will also be receiving a lift for wheelchair access. At this time, there isn't room to make the entire auditorium wheelchair accessible. There are also plans to tear down the walls in the theater storage in order to make it one large storage area. This could potentially mean that they can store their costumes in there and not in the balcony area, which will ultimately open up the balcony for performances.

 Tile Selection

   The choir room (Mr. Whitsell's room) currently has risers that will be removed due to safety reasons and there will be some ceiling work done as well as some acoustic work so that the choir program can come back to TJ! Get your voices ready, ladies and gentlemen.

   Athletics will have some modifications to their wing as well. A ramp lane will replace the stairs down into the wing, and a laundry area will possibly be added to the gym hall. There may also be a semi-public restroom added to offices next to the gym. All of the lockers are being replaced and the locker rooms are getting an overhaul. There are still talks of a long jump area being added to the practice football field. 

   The cafeteria area will recieve new serving lines as well as some updated kitchen equipment. Outside the cafeteria is the breezeway that connects to the JROTC wing. It will be enclosed. No more walking in the elements to class! They are also enclosing the awning that exists to connect the library to the Sophomore hall. Culinary arts will be moved to the JROTC wing and will recieve a restaurant area as well as a new kitchen. By moving Culinary Arts, this opens up a new science lab in the science hall and will get us up to compliance in that department.

   Thomas Jefferson as a whole will receive new flooring (tile) and new carpet in selected areas. New paint will replace the existing drab colors in every hall and classroom. Paint colors are still being determined, but most likely it will be grays and whites to match the new wing. The ceilings will be dropped to 9ft and have new ceiling tiles (like the ones in the new wing) and not look like a patchwork quilt. There will be red and blue tiles in the bathrooms instead of the gray blue and purple that are currently in each. In classrooms, exposed pipes (that have the padding peeling off as well as mold), will be completely re-covered. The AC units appear to be staying, to our dismay, but the bond team is meeting with DISD maintenance tomorrow to discuss their list of priorities. 

   The cherry on top of the new renovation is that TJ is getting new windows! The turqoise-embellished windows will be no more, and the new windows will resemble the ones on the east side of the band hall. Sandblasting the exisiting brick was also suggested due to 60 plus years of wear and tear. 

   The parking lot may be getting some updates to accommodate the buses when the band practices. They are potentially desiging a new loop for them, so that student safety is no longer at risk.There are no designs for that as of yet. 

   Unfortunately, with awesome renovations comes some sadness. A few of our beloved trees may not survive the renovations and will eventually have to be removed. All renovations should start next year and are said to be completed by 2020. Whole School View

Vanessa Melvin