School projects nearly finished

When students return to school next semester, they will see new classrooms, athletics facilities and expanded buildings.

Ongoing construction work at local school buildings is wrapping up with only weeks left before classes start. Other projects, including a new Indian Creek Elementary School, are just beginning.

Projects range in cost from about $150,000 to $10 million. School officials said the work is needed to make room for new students, new technology and added programs and to upgrade buildings and rooms that haven’t had work done in decades.

At Center Grove, work has been ongoing to multiple buildings for the past few years. By the time students return to school Aug. 4, construction at Center Grove and North Grove elementary schools will be finished. Each will have four new classrooms, and students no longer will need to use temporary classrooms that were set up last school year.

But other projects are beginning, with more than $2.4 million in construction projects starting this summer. The work includes adding and renovating classroom space at Pleasant Grove Elementary School and building a new restroom and concession facility for the high school baseball fields. Both projects are set to be finished by the end of February.

Work is continuing on a new Indian Creek Elementary School, which will connect to the intermediate school.

Intermediate school students will be able to look out the cafeteria windows and watch the school being built. One portion is already under roof. Steel framing for the rest of the elementary school building will go up this month and next, said Andy Cline, Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson’s director of learning and instruction. The new building is set to be open for the 2016-17 school year.

Other projects are finished, including $145,000 worth of improvements to the music classrooms at Edinburgh Community High School. The two classrooms had built-in orchestra pits and risers, but staff members wanted the classrooms to have a level surface. New lighting was added and office space was remodeled, Superintendent William Glentzer said.

Still other projects are closer to being complete, including new athletics facilities at Whiteland Community High School.

The school district spent about $4 million on the projects, including new artificial turf for the football field, which should be ready for the first home game in late August. The artificial turf has been installed, but finishing touches are needed before the football team can practice on it, Clark-Pleasant director of curriculum Cameron Rains said.

Whiteland student-athletes also will get ankles or knees wrapped before games in a newly renovated space for athletics trainers. A new marching band practice field will be poured within the next three weeks before school starts, Rains said.

At Greenwood Community High School, officials are hustling to complete a remodeled space for the new Greenwood Connections program, which is targeted for students who do not learn best in the traditional classroom.

A former health classroom and storage space in the northwest corner of the high school was renovated into a 2,600-square-foot classroom that will accommodate 30 students. The academy classroom will have multiple uses, from a café where students can work together on projects or take a break between classes to space for homework help and studying, Principal Todd Garrison said.

The program is new to Greenwood, and officials wanted to add it to give students a chance to bring up their grades in core subjects without being transferred to another school building. Students will spend half the day in the academy room receiving specialized help from high school teachers in core subjects like math or English. The other half will be for elective classes like music or foreign language, or a student could take classes at the Central Nine Career Center.

Since announcing the program this spring, Greenwood has spent about $50,000 renovating the space, buying new laptops for the students and buying unique chairs and tables that are not typically seen in a classroom, Garrison said. Instead of rows of desks and chairs, there will be high-rise tables like you would see in a pub or restaurant, Garrison said.

The school district has looked for companies or organizations to sponsor or donate money to the program. Officials applied for an $80,000 grant but the program was not chosen. Garrison said officials now are looking for other sponsors or partners. The expanded classroom could use another $100,000 worth of renovations to make the space more comfortable for students, he said.

In the remaining weeks before school starts, Garrison said, he is looking for additional furniture and carpet to install in the classroom to separate or divide the space in the 2,600-square-foot room.

At a glance

Nearly every school district is doing construction projects this summer, from new school buildings to upgraded athletic facilities. Here’s a look at the projects:

Center Grove

Additional classrooms and new gymnasiums will be open in both Center Grove Elementary School and North Grove Elementary School, after nearly a year of construction.


Athletics facility, with new artificial turf football field, locker rooms, training center and practice field for the marching band, will be completed


A new choir and band rehearsal space will be open by the time school starts.




A new academy called Greenwood Connections will open this fall for students who do not perform well in the traditional classroom setting. The 2,600-square-foot classroom is on the northwest corner of the building, replacing the old health classroom. Walls were torn down to expand the room.


The Indian Creek High School pool is being retiled this month and next but will not be done until after the school year starts. Construction on Indian Creek Elementary School has started, with estimated completion in 2016.