CSCSHC recently completed a facilities study of every structure in the district. This study provided the district with information and estimates about what future work needs to be conducted in each building. The district has worked diligently to improve all the buildings within the district while making accommodations for a growing enrollment. After the recent completion of a renovation project to re-open the building now known as New Palestine Junior High, the district has turned its attention to New Palestine High School and the need for improvements to several areas within the building.
NPHS has many different sections of the building that were built at different times. The study determined that some of these areas are approaching the end of their useful life, while others are still good. Because some of these areas, such as the auditorium, pool, gymnasiums, and media center are still viable, the study recommended that building a totally new high school was not necessary.
Where Are We Now? (Updated 3/12/19)
After soliciting feedback from students, staff, and community members in February of 2019, the district's construction team created a rough concept of the scope of work for the future project. The Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County approved this concept at the March 2019 meeting.
Here is a sketch of the general concept for the future project on the first floor of the building:
Notes about the design of this concept:
Some areas of the building may require demolition, including the current English/Math wing on the northeast portion of the building. Our construction management team advises us that tearing down this part of the building (built in the 1950s) is more cost-effective than attempting to renovate a space of that age.
There are many different options under the umbrella of “renovation.” Some areas in our building may only need some new flooring and paint. Others may need new cabinet work and other hardware. Others still may require heavy renovation or modification, which could result in classrooms that are essentially brand new.
The district would like to note that what you see in the drawing above is only a rough concept. No firm design decisions about this project have been made at this time. Also, the district may execute some much smaller projects outside of this main project at a later date to address some additional needs that are outside the scope of the current project.
The teal area indicates areas where new classrooms can be added while some other existing classrooms will be renovated. This area includes the current art rooms and a few science classrooms at the east end of the “main” east/west hallway.
The construction team has advised the district that there are a few options for what to do with students during this project. One of those options is portable classrooms. Portables can be very expensive and have a number of restrictions and potential safety concerns that the district believes makes them a poor choice for our students. A second option is to complete this project in small sections while using other parts of the building during the construction process. This can be significantly more expensive, take significantly longer to complete, and potentially cause a larger and longer disruption to the learning environment. This concept includes a third option for our students. The light blue area represents a new structure built on the south end of the building that would initially be used to hold students in temporary classrooms during construction. Upon completion of the project, this area could be modified for other use.
The purple area indicates a new food service and cafeteria area, which, conceptually, will be significantly larger than the cafeteria area NPHS currently uses.
The orange area would be a new, larger area for our fine arts programs. The district’s goal is to provide larger areas for band and choir programs. To achieve this, the district and its construction team may potentially renovate the current cafeteria to accomplish that goal. Improvements to these areas was a common theme throughout the feedback sessions held by the district and its construction team in February.
The dark blue area represents a larger main office and front entrance area for the school. Our community indicated a bigger, more visible, and more appealing front entrance to the building was a priority during the feedback sessions in February.
Finally, the gold area indicates the Career and Technical Education and P.E. areas. This area includes our construction and engineering classrooms, weight room, and wrestling room.
On the second floor, you will note an area that could potentially provide a number of additional classrooms along with those classrooms that already exist.
Now that this concept has been completed and approved, conversations are beginning about various ways to complete a project (timeline, cost, design, etc) that falls in line with the concept. As more details about the project are finalized, the district will continue to seek feedback from various groups about the project. The district will work with the construction team to determine cost and timeline for this project, which will be subject to board approval soon.
FAQ About the Project:
What is the cost and how will the district pay for this?
These determinations are currently being made. It is the goal of the district to complete this project without a referendum while continuing to be fiscally responsible to our taxpayers. Now that a concept is completed, determining the cost of the project is the next step.
When will construction start? When will it be done?
This information is still to be determined. There are many steps for a publicly funded organization (like a school district) to begin a capital project. Please follow along with the process on this page or our "In the Know" blog, where recaps of each school board meeting are published.
How will the building operate during construction?
Until a final design for the project is determined, it's unclear how many classrooms will be affected and what timelines may be required. The proposed temporary classroom structure on the south end of the building will help this project be completed sooner. Our construction team will work to create solutions that keep our students safe and invested in learning.
How can I be a part of this project?
Stay tuned to the district's Facebook page, Twitter page, this site, and your email inbox for more opportunities to provide feedback during the process. Feel free to email Community Relations Director Wes Anderson or NPHS Principal Keith Fessler with any questions or other feedback you would like to provide.