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The Journal Gazette

  • Students and parents explore the new New Haven Intermediate School during parents night Thursday. Classes at the new building start Monday. (Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette)

  • Students and parents explore the new school during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at New Haven Intermediate School on Thursday. (Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette)

  • An outdoor study area was recently added to Lafayette Meadows Elementary School. It was one the renovations to schools throughout the area. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

  • Brayden Schreiber, 10, points out his picture on one of the framed photos of the students, faculty and staff of New Haven Intermediate School during the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. (Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette)

  • Leighton Beard, 8, puts his supplies into his new locker during the ribbon-cutting ceremony and parents' night at New Haven Intermediate School on Thursday. (Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette)

  • East Allen County Schools staff and board members line up along the outside of New Haven Intermediate School on Thursday. (Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette)

  • Common areas and classrooms recently added to Lafayette Meadows Elementary School. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

  • The cafeteria was recently remodeled at Lafayette Meadows Elementary School. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

  • Vibrant colorful hallways were recently added to Lafayette Meadows Elementary School. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

  • Principal Steve Snodgrass, center left, and school board President Tim Hines cut the ribbon Thursday outside the new New Haven Intermediate School along Indiana 930. (Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette)

  • Crowds gather for ribbon-cutting ceremony for New Haven Intermediate School on Thursday. (Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette)

  • Common areas and classrooms were recently added to Lafayette Meadows Elementary School. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

  • Former superintendent Ken Folks makes a speech outside of New Haven Intermediate School during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. (Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette)

  • Garage doors allow for more creative and inclusive instruction in newly renovated classrooms at Lafayette Meadows Elementary School. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)  

  • Jenny Fedele, principal of Lafayette Meadows Elementary School, writes on a dry-erase wall in a newly opened wing of Lafayette Meadows Elementary School during a media walkthrough on Thursday. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)

  • A classroom recently added to Lafayette Meadows Elementary School stands ready for school during a media walkthrough on Thursday. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)  

Friday, August 09, 2019 1:00 am

Schools show off new buildings, amenities

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

With a cheer of “hip, hip hooray” Thursday afternoon, a crowd of hundreds – including parents and students toting school supplies – celebrated East Allen County Schools' newest building, New Haven Intermediate School.

“We as a city should be extremely proud of what we have in this building, and I want it to be a center point of our community,” Principal Steve Snodgrass said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Third through sixth graders will begin classes at 919 Homestead Drive on Monday, the same day Southwest Allen County Schools families will – during a back-to-school night – get to see the expansion and renovations at Lafayette Meadows Elementary School.

“I can't wait for the kids,” Principal Jenny Fedele said during a Thursday morning media tour of Lafayette Meadows. “We're ready. We're ready to see their faces.”

SACS begins the school year Tuesday.

Construction at the Ernst Road school began June 2018. The $10 million project added a wing of 12 classrooms, two kindergarten rooms, an auxiliary gym and a courtyard that can be used as a multipurpose space. Other improvements included a cafeteria expansion and reconfiguration of the front office.

The new wing's fourth and fifth grade classrooms each feature a garage door, allowing teachers to create open and more collaborative learning environments.

“I do think it's unique to Allen County,” Fedele said, demonstrating how the overhead doors work.

While Lafayette Meadows students must wait to see the changes at their school, families streamed into New Haven Intermediate after Thursday's ribbon-cutting.

Nichole Solga and her daughter, sixth grader Avah Wolf, peeked at the cafeteria while searching for the office. It's exciting that Avah gets to attend a new school, Solga said. She added her son will benefit from the new and renovated spaces at New Haven Junior-Senior High School.

A ribbon-cutting for the 7-12 building is at 3:30 p.m. today.

EACS Superintendent Marilyn Hissong thanked everyone involved in the intermediate school project. The school board in 2017 approved a nearly $24 million bid to Fetters Construction.

“A project like this takes incredible teamwork,” Hissong said.

“You as a community were very patient during this construction project,” she added, acknowledging the dust and noise the work created.

The former intermediate school along Woodmere Drive will become a career and technical education center.

Former EACS Superintendent Ken Folks, now of the Indiana Department of Education, toured the school before the ceremony.

“It felt like home,” Folks said.

When EACS started the project, he said, district officials would talk about schools looking dated.

While the new intermediate school is beautiful, he said, what goes on within its walls is most important.

“It's about the curriculum,” Folks said. “It's about the instruction.

“It's about the genuine, caring relationships that have been a focus of the former New Haven Intermediate School and will continue to be part of the new New Haven Intermediate School,” he said.

asloboda@jg.net