Two main projects in the Lake Central School Corporation that affect Dyer residents are moving along and are on schedule and budget, said Bill Ledyard, director of construction and facilities for the district.
“We’re getting great team work on this, from the board to the administration and so on,” he said. “This aggressive schedule we’re on has taken a great amount of teamwork and communication through the entire process.”
Students at both Protsman Elementary School and Lake Central High School can plan on moving into new classrooms for the second semester.
The Protsman project began in July 2012, building a new school on the existing school site, Ledyard said.
“The new Protsman is in the backyard of the original building,” he said. “Even though construction of the new school is going on, students are going to school as they always have.”
The first phase of the project, constructing the new elementary school, is scheduled to be complete right about Thanksgiving, Ledyard said, and students are expected to move into the new building after Christmas break.
The new building is about 125,000 square feet, much larger than the original building. It will allow for bigger hallways and better traffic flow, and will allow each grade to essentially have its own wing of the building.
“Logistically, it’s a much better concept for a kindergarten through 4th grade school,” he said. “It’s also going to have a nice media center, a cafeteria and a large group instruction room, as well as a gym.”
The building will also feature a community room that can be used for PTO meetings, voting, or other community activities. It will be available for rent by organizations and has a separate entrance.
“When voting is going on, or the room is in use, they won’t disrupt the students. The room is connected, but separate,” he said.
There will be one main entrance and employees will have “swipe cards” to allow them access to the building, Ledyard said.
After the first phase is completed and students are moved in, Phase 2 can begin, Ledyard said.
That involves demolition of the current building, along with creating parking and underground detention. It also will include finishing the cafeteria and the community room, because parts of each will be where the current school is currently.
Phase 2 is set to be complete by July 2014, so it is ready when students start in the fall.
Both the Protsman project and the Lake Central High School project are part of the $160 million referendum that was passed in November 2011, Ledyard said.
At the high school, Phase 1 of the three-phase project is currently underway.
That phase includes adding a new pool and a three story, 100-classroom academic wing. The site of the new addition is located where modular classrooms had been, and also located on what had been the track.
“In addition to the classrooms, we will have a 50-meter pool, state-of-the-art labs, nice large corridors,” he said. “It’s very logistically laid out to keep the flow going and is very spacious.”
That phase is also set to be complete about Thanksgiving, with students moving into the classrooms to start the second semester.
The second phase involves knocking down the north end of the existing high school to create a fine arts wing, which will include a fine arts area, a 1,000-seat auditorium, a competition gym and administration offices.
That should be complete in Fall 2015, Ledyard said. The final phase involves creating a new football field and baseball field, which should be done by the end of 2015, in time for the 2016 football season.
“Everything for both projects is moving right along,” he said.