|Bates Elementary (top) and Cardozo Middle School share an address at 3180 McDowell Road in south Jackson and a combined footprint of 165,000 sqaure feet.
Principals Mitchell Shears and Dr. Josephine Kelly shared a platform as they unveiled the Bates Elementary-Cardozo Middle School building to students, parents, and other guests who attended the ribbon cutting and open house ceremony September 12, 2010. The district's newest schools are located at 3180 McDowell Road where an overflow crowd gathered to celebrate the completion of the building's construction.
The Sunday celebration kicked off with musical selections performed by Jackson's award winning gospel ensemble the Mississippi Mass Choir. Several JPS staff members, including Bates Principal Mitchell Shears, are members of the choir.
The highlight of the program was a videotaped message from Gladys Noel Bates, a former teacher and leader in the fight for equal teacher pay in Mississippi in the 1940s. In her addess, Bates called the naming of the school in her honor "the gold medal at the end of the race." The former educator is in her 90s and lives in Denver, Colorado. She is the only living namesake of a JPS school. The message was introduced by Bates' son-in-law James Gavin.
JPS Board President Kisiah W. Nolan and Superintendent Dr. Lonnie J. Edwards Sr. also spoke during the occasion. Current and former members of the JPS School Board were also recognized. City Council President Frank Bluntson, State of Mississippi Representative Alyce Clarke and state senators Hillman Frazier and David Blount were invited to make comments.
Bates Elementary and Cardozo Middle Schools have a combined footprint of just over 165,000 square feet. The elementary school uses 50,403 square feet of that space and includes 21 classrooms, an art room, music room, litracy room, tutoring room and computer lab. A health center and a separate dining room are also part of the construction. The school can accommodate an enrollment of 550 students.
With more than 114,600 square feet of indoor space, the Cardozo Middle School has a maximum enrollment capacity of 650 students. The school's instructional facilities are made up of 32 classrooms, an art room, choral music room, band room, strings music room, a Career Discovery room and a Computer Discovery room. A gymnatorium, health room, speech/hearing room, library/media center and separate dining room round out its amenities.
- Total Project Cost: $27.9 Million
- Total Size: 165,068 Sq. Ft.
- Design Professionals – JBHM Architects
- Contractor – Evan Johnson and Sons Construction Company
- Furniture Supplier – Office Environments
- Program Managers – Jacobs/Preferred Management Group
About Gladys Noel Bates
Gladys Noel Bates, born in 1920 in McComb, Mississippi, is an African-American Civil Rights pioneer and educator who filed a lawsuit, Gladys Noel Bates vs. the State of Mississippi, in 1948 charging salary discrimination against African American teachers and principals. The fallout from her action forced Bates and her family to leave Mississippi. They moved to Denver, Colorado where she has received numerous awards for her achievements as an educator and a community leader.
About Thomas Cardozo
Thomas W. Cardozo was the first African American to serve as superintendent of education for the state of Mississippi. As state superintendent, he was interested in the education of all children even though the public schools were segregated. The statewide adoption of uniform textbooks was a reform that he supported. After serving as state superintendent, he moved to Massachusetts where he died in 1881.