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December 10, 2012

Carroll to renovate high school science classrooms

Board approved advertising for bids on expected $1.6m project

FLORA — Carroll Junior-Senior High School science teachers may get double their classroom space by the time next school year starts.

School board members last Wednesday approved advertising for bids on a project to add two new high school science classrooms and renovate four existing ones to make two other large science classrooms.

Board members have about $1.6 million set aside for the project, according to superintendent Chris Lagoni. The renovations have been part of the board’s strategic plan for some time now, he said, and will be financed out of a $1.8 million bond issue that was passed about 1 1/2 years ago.

That means the project should be paid off by July, he said, before the scheduled completion of construction in August.

Plans are for construction to begin in March.

The two existing 1,100-square-foot high school biology and chemistry classrooms will be renovated to form one large classroom equipped with technology to allow presentations and group work. That’s likely to include cameras at lab tables to enable the whole classroom to see video of one experiment and screens at the back of a classroom that show the same presentation as what’s on the front screen.

An additional 2,000-square-foot classroom will be built onto the high school end of the building, too, and the existing physics lab will be updated.

On the junior high side, the two existing junior high science classrooms will also be renovated into one large classroom and an additional large classroom will be added, as well.

About 5,000 square feet will be added in all, though the number of classrooms will remain the same.

Renovation plans include efforts to accommodate an upcoming educational emphasis on writing and public speaking within the school’s science classes.

“We have really tried to design a lot of what’s going on in the science classrooms around the Common Core and these simple concepts of writing about something, talking about something,” Lagoni said.

It’s also meant to prepare students for jobs after graduation.

“Employers say they want employees of the future who can articulate or are good at doing presentations, that can talk about their products or talk intelligently in groups and lead groups,” Lagoni added.

An architect from the firm Barton Coe Vilamaa is working with the Carroll school board and with staff from Envoy, an Indianapolis project management company hired to oversee the actual construction.

Once work begins this spring, it may get hectic around the school, said Lagoni.

“We’ll just ask our parents to be patient, and our bus drivers,” he said. “We’ll work through it but the payoff will be worth it.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151.

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