X

Inside look: Carlisle’s new school close to opening, combining 4 buildings into 1

Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building.  NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

At first sight, Carlisle’s new school building looks smaller than the old high school that was demolished in June.

But one doesn’t realize how large and functional it is until a visit to the building on Jamaica Road.

Last week, Carlisle school officials and construction managers gave the Journal-News a preview of the new building that is expected to open to about 1,600 students in all grades on Sept. 8.

For nearly two years, between 120 and 200 people worked on the construction of the new building, a $49 million project that is two stories and 208,000 square feet.

ExploreGround is broken on new $49M Carlisle school building

“The grades are separated as the building is designed to flow into the next higher grades,” said Carlisle Superintendent Larry Hook, who next week starts a new job as Springboro’s superintendent. “Flexibility was a key to the building’s design.”

Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building.  NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

He said that the high school classrooms feature interactive projectors and sound amplification and teachers will be miked up for their classes.

The building has a dozen extended teaching areas for small groups or other projects. The ELAs also function as mini-libraries with books, printers and interactive television monitors.

ExploreCarlisle schools puts $20M bond issue on May ballot

There are several teacher workrooms, special education rooms and smaller rooms for individual or small-group learning.

The building is also designed to be expanded for future growth. There are several stairwells throughout the building and elevators in each section of the building.

Hook said there will be a better traffic flow for dropping students off and the new parking situation will provide better traffic flow for athletic events and other activities.

ExploreState offers Carlisle Schools funds for new buildings

The building has the latest security features with cameras located inside building corridors and main public areas, Hook said. There are no cameras in the classrooms. Badges will be issued to access the building, eliminating the need for keys.

”Probably two-thirds of town had a key to one of the buildings,” Hook said.

Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building.  NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Entire sections can be closed during events at the school, he said.

ExploreCarlisle wants to build $51 million combined school

The middle school classrooms are along the main second floor corridor between the elementary and high school wings. That corridor will be named for Charles Chamberlain, the namesake of the former middle school being demolished. In the elementary wing, the upper corridor is named for the former Bobby F. Grigsby Intermediate School, and the lower corridor named for the former Alden Brown Elementary School.

Each of the elementary hallways are color-coded as teal, yellow and green. Hook said that will help the younger students navigate the building. There is also an enclosed courtyard for recess for the lower grades.

Hook said the corridors in the middle school and high school areas will feature the school colors of red and gray.

The building will feature a central kitchen, and students will eat in two multi-purpose rooms, one for the elementary students and one for the secondary students.One of the multi-purpose rooms is connected to the high school and middle school competition gyms as well as a concession area.

The new 500-seat auditorium features the archways from the former Chamberlain Middle School. Hook said the exterior lights from the former Chamberlain building are being refurbished and will be attached to the archways at the auditorium’s entrance.

Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building.  NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Construction continues on the new $49 million Carlisle school for grades pre-k through 12 Wednesday, July 30, 2020. The school is divided into sections for high school, middle school and elementary school and will consolidate four schools into one building. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The high school gym can seat almost 1,400 people on three sides. The middle school gym will be able to seat about 320 people.

The district’s administrative offices will be located on the first floor below the middle school corridor. Each section of the building has a separate entrance.

Construction is expected to be completed Aug. 22, but Nathan Minnich-Weber, senior project manager for Cincinnati-based Skanska USA, said other demolition and work will keep crews there through November.

Final cleaning of the high school wing is planned for this week as equipment and furniture is being delivered and put together throughout the building.