About Jones Middle School
Jones Middle School is one of two middle schools in the Upper Arlington City School District, in Upper Arlington, Ohio. The school is located in the center of the Upper Arlington Historic District, at the end of the Mallway.
The site that is now Jones Middle School originally served as Camp Willis, a military training camp. This is noted by a plaque near the Arlington Avenue side of the site.
The neo-classical school building was designed by Ohio Stadium architect Howard Dwight Smith and completed in 1924. It served as the first permanent school in Upper Arlington, serving grades 1-6; grades 7-12 were added to the building following its 1926 expansion. J.W. Jones was hired as the building principal and the first full-time superintendent of the district. The building was renamed Upper Arlington High School in 1939 with the opening of another Smith-designed school, Barrington Road Elementary School.
In the 1990’s, two initial architectural studies proposed demolition of the Jones Middle School, but a third proposal was chosen - to rehabilitate the historic school. A committee of teachers and parents together with the architect and contractor guided the work with respect for the historic character of the school. As a result, historic features and details remain inside and out. The auditorium was preserved, with tile walls and wood seats retained and air conditioning added. Classroom doors fitted with new ADA-compliant hardware were reinstalled, as were the original lockers. Although asbestos contamination necessitated removal of the plaster walls, care was taken to reinstate archways in the halls. The cafeteria and library addition was built in a former courtyard and another creative location was found for the elevator - in “found” space, where an old chimney had been. The three-year project took place while school was in session, and was used as a learning experience for students who toured future classrooms in hard hats. A local bond issue provided funding for the project, which cost $3 million less than the projected new construction costs.