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New Fairland High should be done by 2002-03 school year

PROCTORVILLE - The new Fairland High School is shaping up – and if all goes well, will be ready by this spring.

Monday, January 07, 2002

PROCTORVILLE - The new Fairland High School is shaping up – and if all goes well, will be ready by this spring.

Fairland superintendent Jerry McConnell said construction on the new high school should be completed by March, with students entering the school during the 2002-2003 school year.

McConnell said the new high school is being built on 17 acres of land owned by the school board since the mid-1970s. The board purchased an additional 1-acre plot of land that will serve as the entrance to the new facility.

The new facility will be about 106,000 square-feet, a little over double the current high school’s size. McConnell said the size of the current building – about 49,000 square-feet – has been an issue because the school has been limited to the curriculum it can offer because of space. With more room in the new high school, McConnell said, the school could offer more programs and, in turn, expand the curriculum it offers to students.

The school district’s projects are funded in part by a $27 million grant from the state and in part by $4 million contributed by local tax-payers. The money collected from the tax-payers comes from a maintenance levy passed by citizens in 1998. In a previous interview, McConnell said the maintenance levy passed by 65 percent. He said, "we feel that’s a message and we took the message very seriously."

Of the money, $13.5 million will go toward building the new high school and $7 million will go to renovations and construction of the current Fairland High School, $5 million will go to Fairland East and $5 million will go to Fairland West. The monies for these schools will go to construction and renovation projects.

Students at Fairland East are already reaping the benefits of the new additions. Currently, students are using a new library, technology lab, gymnasium and restrooms.

The school district plans to keep the current buildings in use. Once the new high school is built, the current high school will become the middle school for students in grades 6-8; Fairland West, which is currently the middle school, will house students in grades 3-5; and the current elementary, Fairland East, will only house students in Kindergarten through second grade. McConnell said the new facility and the construction on the existing structures are not only being built for current students, but also for future students. The superintendent said he is pleased the school district was able to keep the current buildings in use and not destroy the existing structures.

"This project is student-driven – present students and students in the future," he said. "This project reflects how we can serve them."