Students first to break ground for building projectsNoblesville Mayor John Ditslear joined student representatives at Noblesville High School to turn over the first shovels of soil to officially begin two school construction projects.Students and parents, along with school and community officials and representatives of the design-build team gathered at Noblesville High School on September 6 to celebrate the upcoming 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.Joining Mayor Ditslear with shovels in hand and wearing hardhats were
- Joy Reks, a fifth grader at White River Elementary School representing next year's sixth-grade class at NEMS
- Grace Kwiatkowski, a sixth grader at NEMS representing next year's seventh-grade class
- Natalie Grubb, a seventh grader at NEMS representing next year's eighth-grade class
- Mary Blake Brock, an eighth-grader at NEMS representing next year's freshman class
- Grace Dean, current NHS freshman class president
- Nick Hanna, sophomore class president
- Sara Sigman, junior class president
- Luis Sorto, senior class president
- Victoria Houghtalen, NHS student body president
The NHS and NEMS administrative teams, district administrators, members of the school board, and the design-build team also took turns turning the shovels.The NHS Singers, led by choir director Angie Resler, opened the morning program with the National Anthem. Speakers included Superintendent Dr. Libbie Conner, Mayor Ditslear, school board secretary Julia Kozicki, NHS Principal Jeff Bryant, NEMS Principal Ryan Rich, and Tim Thoman, president of Performance Services, the design-build team for the projects.Community support for the projects during the 2013 building referendum process made these projects possible, Dr. Conner noted. "We are excited to get these projects started and look forward to the start of the 2014-15 school year when the work will be completed. Thank you, Noblesville!" Mrs. Kozicki expressed her appreciation to the community as well.Mayor Ditslear recalled being a member of the school board in the early 1990s when plans were being finalized for the construction of the high school and ground was broken. He never imagined standing at NHS more than 20 years later breaking ground a second time for an addition that would bring the school's capacity to 3,000.Highlighting the high school project, Mr. Bryant noted the addition of the freshman center would allow additional course offerings for freshmen as they find the pathway that will lead to college and career success. Performing arts and wellness additions will serve more and more students as the high school continues to grow and participation in those programs increases. In addition, he said, consolidating the main office, student services, and the guidance offices at the front of the building will help secure the building and increase safety for students and staff.
NEMS is looking forward to its move to the current freshman campus at 16th Street and Field Drive next summer after expansions are complete. The layout and design of the building will better facilitate the teamed middle school program the school utilizes, Mr. Rich said. General education classrooms will be larger and more conducive to the instruction that takes place in 21st Century learning and will provide greater flexibility for collaboration and a variety of learning activities to occur. The art, business, technology, and science labs at the freshman campus will be an upgrade for the middle school and will better support the middle school curriculum.Tim Thoman said the design-build team looked forward to working again with Noblesville Schools. Although a lot of work is to be done before the projects are completed and the buildings are ready for students in the summer of 2014, Performance Services has a solid plan and is fully committed to finishing the work on time. “We will not only meet the schedule but will also deliver high-performing buildings in terms of energy efficiency and optimal learning environments. We clearly understand how important a highly successful project is to Noblesville Schools and the community,” he said.This slide show features more of the groundbreaking ceremony. Click here to learn more about the building projects.