Old elementary property seeing some development

By John Earp

After several years of lying empty, basically as a sand lot, the property on Minnesota where the old Jal Elementary School stood for decades before the new Jal Elementary School buildings were constructed on Utah is finally seeing some development. Originally, the property had been given to the City of Jal by the Jal School District for the purpose of having it developed into residential homes. After several years of nothing except utilities, curbs and streets being put in, several months ago, the school district purchased two lots back from the City of Jal for a minimal fee with a plan to place two duplexes on the property for teacher housing, known of as teacherages. The modular duplexes, which for zoning purposes are equivalent to site-built homes when placed on a permanent foundation, are presently being bricked and having carports built in front with metal fencing surrounding the backyards.

Superintendent Brian Snider says he plans to ask the school board to allow the district to build more duplexes on the old elementary grounds in the future, but that has not been put on the school board’s agenda as yet. At the meeting of the Jal City Council this past Monday, an agreement was reached whereby the city will sell two lots at $22,000 a piece for the purpose of new housing to be constructed there. Snider said the estimated cost for the three-bedroom/two-bath duplexes is about $120,000.

The school district’s many construction projects are continuing at a feverish pace, with the all-new stands for Panther Stadium being completed by the beginning of football season, the new concession stand/visitor’s locker room projects being projected to be completed sometime in the fall, and the addition to the elementary school to the east of the main building being hopefully completed by the end of 2024. The old concession stand will continue to be used until the new one is completed, according to Snider. Presently, the new stadium seating is on order and will be installed as soon as they arrive.

The district has also contracted a full-time physical therapist and a full-time athletic trainer for this upcoming school year, which will provide a big upgrade for all the athletic programs at Jal Schools. Also, the district has purchased new laptops for the reading and math programs for the elementary, junior high school and high school, according to Snider.