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JACKSON (December 8th, 2020) – The Jackson School of the Arts (JSA) announces plans to move to a new location in downtown Jackson. At the city council meeting on Tuesday, JSA submitted a proposal to purchase the Vermuelen’s building located at 135 W. Cortland Street as their future home.
The City Council approved the proposal in a (6 to 0) vote.


The Jackson School of the Arts Board of Directors now plan to finish the Capital Campaign that began in 2017. Originally the campaign vision included a lease agreement with the City for the Masonic Temple building next door to the Vermuelen’s building to expand space for the School concurrent with renovation of the landmark. However, in May due to the COVID-19 crisis, the School’s Board of Directors, after discussions and in mutual agreement with the city, along with input from various donors determined it was best to reimagine options to accommodate needs for space and gain an understanding on what will be required of schools and classroom settings moving forward in light of the pandemic.
Moving forward, JSA will continue the work with Jason Covalle, Architect and R. W. Mercer, Contractor to complete the project and transform the former Vermuelen’s building into Jackson School of the Arts new home.   
As promised the new site will provide:

  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Enhanced safety and security
  • More space for growth and program expansion
  • Centrally located in the heart of downtown
  • Supports the revitalization of a historic building

The new opportunities with the Vermuelen’s building include:

  • Better layout conducive to the space needed for JSA
  • JSA ownership of the building vs. leasing
  • Less cost to complete the build-out
  • Ample parking for staff and families

Carolyn Moser, JSA Executive Director stated "The staff of JSA have been working tirelessly for the last three years to run an excellent arts organization at the same time as managing a large capital campaign.  We are thrilled with the new space and ease it will bring to have our partners like the YMCA, the Interfaith Shelter, Michigan Theatre and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra nearby.  Moving into our 20th year we feel like JSA is better than ever, and we look forward to celebrating the success of our whole community with this project!"
JSA is tentatively looking forward to a grand opening in the fall of 2021.