The new East Noble Middle School building still is mostly concrete and cinder blocks inside at
this point, but the project remains on schedule to open in fall 2018.
The East Noble School Corp. Board of Trustees toured the building Wednesday, and middle school teachers and staff got a sneak peek at the progress Saturday afternoon as Fetters
Construction continues work on the $38.8 million project.
The main takeaway is that the project is on schedule for an August 2018 opening, Business Manager Brian Leitch told staff members at one point during the tour.
“They’ll be working all winter long,” Leitch said. “They are on schedule. They will be done in time for the new school year.”
Voters approved the new middle school by referendum in November 2015, with 63 percent of ballots cast supporting the project and 37 percent opposing it. That was a year after a
middle school construction proposal was narrowly voted down by a mere 97 ballots.
East Noble Middle School Principal Andy Deming led two tours Saturday at the new school building on Drake Road, showing off the work in progress on the gymnasium, auxiliary gym, lunchroom hallways, classrooms, office, front foyer and activity rooms.
Workers have done a lot on the exterior, laying bricks and closing up the building ahead of the winter weather, while the interior still is mostly open space at this point.
But it didn’t take staff long to realize they’re getting something in the new building that they’re missing at the current middle school at 401 E. Diamond St. in Kendallville: space. At several stops on the tours, teachers took notice of the size of spaces designated for things like art rooms, home economics or activity rooms.
The new middle school also will have a full-size gym, auxiliary gym, separate wrestling room and a cafetorium with more space and double the available lunch lines.
One project that should be wrapped up soon is the artificial turf on the football field. Workers recently sewed into place the field surface — alternating sections of light and dark green grass, white line markings, blue end zones and a vibrant blue and gold EN logo at midfield — and will be laying down rubber pellets to cushion the field and then fluff up the turf.
The contractor installing the field is out of Texas and hopes to be completed in a week or two.
“There are guys working out on the field right now. Their goal is to be done by Thanksgiving so they can go home and be with their families,” Leitch said.
The football field will be encompassed by an eight-lane track and areas for track-and-field events, including the high jump and long jump.
The bleachers and press box already are in place, and the stands can hold more than 1,000 fans.
Steve Garbacz, KPC Media