Academy @ Shawnee Unveils First Look at $42 Million in Updates

Total renovations will be complete in 2021

October 6, 2020 – Four new classrooms, Pre-Nursing & Early Child Care suites, and an office suite.  Renovated pool area. A new, more centrally-located library space. Senior cafeteria and lounge area, among other updates. 

Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) and Academy @ Shawnee officials today unveiled a first look at the historic school’s $42 million project which includes a fully reimagined third floor that has been closed off since the early 1980s.  The project will be complete in 2021.

“At the Academy @ Shawnee, our students are continuing to explore career opportunities in aviation, manufacturing, graphic design, pre-nursing, early child care and business marketing,” said Kym Rice, principal of Shawnee. “While these outstanding programs are thriving, the needs of our building continue to grow.  This is just the beginning of what the Academy @ Shawnee will look like, and I can’t wait for our students and families to come back to our buildings and see all the changes we’ve made.”

The goal was to keep the historical aspects of the building intact while providing the necessary updates, including a new HVAC system, electrical system, library, LED lighting and energy-efficient windows, among other revisions, according to John Niehoff, JCPS architect.

Contractors are halfway through the total renovations.  A newly renovated Neighborhood Place on Shawnee’s first floor will be finished next mont

picture of new classroom with desks and chairs
h, with remaining projects – including a new middle school media center, renovation of the auditorium and a complete overhaul of the entire third floor – to be finalized next summer.

When the project is complete, Neihoff added, Shawnee will be a more effective facility both in terms of programming as well as energy efficiency.

“When I stand here and look at the work that has been done so far I know what this will mean for students,” said Jefferson County Board of Education Chair Diane Porter, whose district includes Shawnee. “I approach my work on the school board with a ‘students first’ approach.  This is now going to be the building our students deserve.”

“Our district is willing now to make investments in all of our schools to show all students how much we value their education experience in JCPS,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. “This school will be a symbol of what is possible in JCPS.  We can do even more with community investment. Seeing what has already taken place here is inspiring to me and it should be a sign of hope in our community.”