Designs unveiled for Carmel’s newest elementary schools  

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Editor’s note: Images of the floorplans presented at the April 22 school board meeting have been removed at the request of Carmel Clay Schools in the interest of student safety.    

The buildings planned to replace the aging Carmel and Orchard Park elementary schools aren’t expected to look much like their predecessors.

The teams tasked with building the new schools presented their designs at the April 22 Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees meeting but pointed out the plans aren’t finalized yet.

“The new building will look completely different than anything you do have,” said Brent Hite of CSO Architects.

Instead of long corridors with rooms on either side, the design team is grouping grade levels together in neighborhoods, a concept similarly used at some other CCS campuses. Between the classrooms, shared common areas will give teachers the ability to utilize additional space and more easily collaborate with each other.

“It really provides another level of flexibility to them,” Hite said, adding that it also increases safety by placing an additional barrier between a potential intruder and students.

Spaces for music, art and gym classes will also be grouped together, and outdoor learning labs will be constructed in between grade level neighborhoods.

CCS Supt. Michael Beresford said the district is considering installing kiosks inside the front doors where visitors could check in with a driver’s license before entering the school office, adding another layer of safety.

“We’ve got some newer technology kicking with that,” Beresford said.

The project visioning committee, which included administrators and principals, settled on the proposed designs after considering approximately 10 options.

The school board approved plans to replace Carmel and Orchard Park elementary schools with new buildings at a June 2018 meeting. The new Carmel Elementary building is anticipated to cost approximately $22.5 million and will be built just south of the existing school. The building that will replace Orchard Park 5 miles away on Clay Center Road is expected to cost more than $24 million.

The school board approved a resolution April 22 that authorizes a building corporation to issue bonds for a term of up to 20 years with a principal amount not exceeding $64,645,000.

Construction is expected to begin in December and be complete by October 2021. Both buildings are expected to be open to begin the 2021-22 school year.


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