Back to school: Construction nears completion, mostly finished

During Spring Break, construction workers installed the new walkway frame that will connect the existing building to the new addition at the high school. (File photo)

During Spring Break, construction workers installed the new walkway frame that will connect the existing building to the new addition at the high school. (File photo)

In 10 months, Noblesville School completed $34 million of its $36 million renovations and additions at Noblesville High School and new East Middle School (former freshman campus). Director of Operations Jeff Bragg said the project provides more efficient facilities with less overhead operating costs.

“Construction is on budget and on schedule. The schedule has had to be adjusted some over the course of the project to accommodate cold and rainy Indiana conditions,” he said.

Bragg said two portions of the high school project will not be completed before school begins Aug. 4.

“The multi-purpose facility on the south end of the NHS building is scheduled to be completed at fall break. The old administrative wing and counselor’s spaces will both be converted into useable classroom spaces and will also be completed at fall break,” he said.

Noblesville High School Principal Jeff Bryant said the main benefit of having freshmen back at the main campus is access to course offerings that were unavailable to freshmen while they were at a separate campus.

“As students work toward their pathway to graduation, electives that were once only available in grades 10-12 are now available in grades 9-12. For example, Project Lead the Way courses, performing arts, wellness, and business.

The school’s renovation also provides a well-marked main entrance that greets visitors the first time since the high school was opened.

“Having a safe, secure main entrance was a priority during this construction project,” said Bryant. “With most offices now in the front of the building, visitors to NHS will be greeted at a secure entrance and complete their business in the office areas right inside the main entrance.”

By the numbers

• More than 180 workers were employed.

• More than three weeks of lost time due to extreme winter weather conditions.

• Worked through the third snowiest/coldest winter in history.

• Last concrete pour was six weeks later than originally scheduled due to winter weather conditions.

• Started site demolition on Oct. 3, 2013.

• Moved into useable classroom and office spaces on July 22.

• Vacated 255,000 square feet (old east middle school, now Ivy Tech campus).

• Added a total of 187,067 square feet (NHS-133,807 sq. ft.; NMES-53,260 sq. ft.).

• Renovated a total of 176,216 square feet (NHS-45,970 sq. ft.; NMES-130,245 sq. ft.).

What does the new construction offer at the schools and how will it be utilized?

NHS: According to principal Jeff Bryant, “The new construction provided us the opportunity to create spaces that emphasized 21st Century learning – flexible, collaborative, technology enhanced spaces. This project also allowed us to take existing spaces and remodel them for more effective use. Overall, we have created spaces that fit current learning and instructional practices while providing room for the future class size growth that is expected in coming years.”

NEMS: “The new NEMS layout and design is much more supportive of our middle school schedule, program, and curriculum. Larger general classrooms and specialized instructional spaces will better allow the type of student-centered, collaborative learning experiences our teachers need. Business, technology, art, and science labs are also updated and better designed to accommodate the current program and curriculum we offer our students. Overall, the facility provides a greater sense of openness and safety, with taller, wider staircases and hallways, significant increases in access to natural light, and other features that make for a positive and productive learning environment. In addition to these physical improvements, the newly renovated facility will include wireless technology to support our 1:1 learning environment, where every student will have access to an iPad to enhance their learning,” said NEMS Principal Ryan Rich.