Ground is broken, clock begins

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Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear, center, breaks ground on the new Noblesville Schools construction projects with students Luis Sorto, from left, Sara Sigman, Nick Hanna, Grace Dean, Mary Blake Brock, Natalie Grubb, Grace Kwiatkowski and Joy Reks. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear, center, breaks ground on the new Noblesville Schools construction projects with students Luis Sorto, from left, Sara Sigman, Nick Hanna, Grace Dean, Mary Blake Brock, Natalie Grubb, Grace Kwiatkowski and Joy Reks. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

Construction projects two years in the making have begun as Noblesville Schools officials and students held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 6 at the main entrance of Noblesville High School main campus, 18111 Cumberland Rd. The projects include the expansion and renovation of the Noblesville High School main campus to accommodate grades 9-12 and the expansion and renovation of the current NHS freshman campus to become Noblesville East Middle School.

“I’m so delighted we are moving forward with this project,” school board member Julia Kozicki said, adding it accommodates the district’s growth. “I’m thankful to see the ground being broken and the projects get underway.”

Superintendent Libbie Conner said the projects will not interfere with classroom instruction as inside renovations will take place on holiday breaks and during the summer. Projects are to be completed in time to start for the 2014-15 school year.

The Noblesville Board of School Trustees awarded the Design-Build contract to Performance Services at its Aug. 20 meeting. Performance Services has worked with the district on several projects including additions and renovation at eight schools two years ago and the interior work at the new Educational Services Center that opened in July.

“Even though we only have 11 months to complete $36 million in construction work in two occupied schools, we have a solid plan and are fully committed to making that happen,” Performance Services President Tim Thoman said. “We’re confident our team is going to accomplish this. We’re going to deliver it on time for you.”

“This project will be on a fast track, but we know from experience that Performance Services will deliver the highest quality buildings that we expect and we are very confident that these projects will go as planned and will be completed on time,” Conner said. “Phase 1 of the elementaries added on new square footage and also remodeled the inside. We got all that done in under a year and were ready to go on the first day of school.”

NEMS Principal Ryan Rich said his new building will accommodate the school’s model of team-concept teaching by creating pods for sixth, seventh and eighth grades. He added that the layout also will provide better flow for students when moving around the building.

In addition to placing all students under one roof, NHS Principal Jeff Bryant said the project will provide the building with safety and more programming space.

“The performing arts numbers have been growing immensely since this building opened and we really haven’t touched that,” he said. “Brick and mortar is not going to make NHS a great school but we certainly appreciate it.”

Conner said the construction team will break ground early next month. What the community can expect before then is fencing off of the workspace and a change in traffic flow as trailers are brought in.


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