CLEARFIELD – Nearly 40 years after its original dedication in 1975, members of the administration, school board and faculty and staff gathered with the community to dedicate the new Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School to its students on Monday evening.
Beginning this academic year, the district will have two school campuses. It invested $35 million to convert the former Clearfield High School into a campus for seventh through 12th grade students. At the new CAJSHS campus, it also completed upgrades to Bison sports facilities, including the tennis courts, stadium and athletic fields.
The district invested approximately $11 million to convert the former Clearfield Elementary School into a campus for kindergarten through sixth grade students. In the process, it permanently closed the Clearfield Area Middle School and the Centre, Girard-Goshen and Bradford Township Elementary Schools.
“The brick and mortar portion of the project is complete here,” said Mary Anne Jackson, school board president. “Next week with the beginning of the new school year, the second phase of our vision will come into being, the academic excellence. Our children deserve no less, and we are ready.”
The district invested nearly $50 million over the past two or three years to turn the new CAJSHS and Clearfield Area Elementary School campuses into state-of-the-art facilities, said Superintendent Terry Struble. The new CAES will be dedicated during a ceremony on Aug. 25.
According to Struble, the new CAJSHS has state-of-the-art technology throughout and its wiring and plumbing has almost been 100 percent replaced. The HVAC system, he said, has been replaced and its upgrades included a cooling system throughout the school.
The new CAJSHS has security vestibules, entrances and cameras that are now a common part of the school. It also has a completely new cafeteria and kitchen, gymnasium and auditorium and a re-finished and expanded library. New CAJSHS additions have allowed for art and home economic areas and for updates to the life skills classrooms, he said.
“The gymnasium will service our community as a whole,” said Struble. “The auditorium is a complete replacement from the new seating to the expanded stage. Its stage, lighting and sound systems will allow students to perform and demonstrate their talents and skills. It’s certainly worthy of their capabilities.”
Struble thanked former and current Clearfield school administrators and board members, as well as the district’s architect and numerous others involved with the construction of the new CAJSHS. “Putting all of that aside today isn’t about the building or the work done to it.
“Today is about dedicating this building to our students. Now that the construction phase is behind us, our focus turns to the start of school on Aug. 26 and what we plan to do as a K-6 and 7-12 district.”
Struble pointed out that the incoming seventh and eighth grade students will reap many benefits. First, he said the district has expanded foreign languages into the junior high curriculum. Also, he said there will be longer blocks of mathematics and language arts.
He noted that the district has eliminated the challenging transition from the eighth to ninth grade. “The challenge is now using our resources to grow our students’ learning. We want to make our students’ dreams possible,” he said.
On behalf of the faculty and students, Principal Tim Janocko accepted the new CAJSHS. He thanked past students from the classes of 2013 and 2014 for making sacrifices for those behind them and the people of Clearfield for investing in the future.
“It’s definitely a proud day to be a Bison,” said Janocko.
After the dedication ceremony, the new CAJSHS was open to the public for student- and self-guided tours.