Things are building up at Memorial

With plans for new music classrooms and a renovated cafeteria, construction continues at Elkhart Memorial.

Construction+began+on+the+Elkhart+Memorial+pool+in+January.+Plans+for+the+pool+area%2C+which+include+additional+music+classrooms%2C+will+be+complete+by+January+2020.
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Things are building up at Memorial

Construction began on the Elkhart Memorial pool in January. Plans for the pool area, which include additional music classrooms, will be complete by January 2020.

Construction began on the Elkhart Memorial pool in January. Plans for the pool area, which include additional music classrooms, will be complete by January 2020.

Hailey Mullet

Construction began on the Elkhart Memorial pool in January. Plans for the pool area, which include additional music classrooms, will be complete by January 2020.

Hailey Mullet

Hailey Mullet

Construction began on the Elkhart Memorial pool in January. Plans for the pool area, which include additional music classrooms, will be complete by January 2020.

By Hailey Mullet, Elkhart Memorial High School

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It’s no secret that Elkhart Memorial High School as we know it is starting to look less and less recognizable. There have already been some major changes to our school, but the construction going on now is only a glimpse at what is to come.  

The first couple steps through Memorial’s front doors reveal some of the drastic changes that are already in effect. The main office has relocated, along with the principals’ offices and security kiosk, but administration is not the only part of the building impacted so heavily by the merge.  

From students’ parking spots being taken up, to fire alarms going off at the worst possible moments, there are a lot more behind the scenes obstacles than students would think.

In an interview with Principal Cary Anderson, he described the dilemmas teachers have faced with moving out of their department offices.  

“We have these wonderful teachers who have cubicles in these areas and through this process I have asked them to move out of where their home has been,” Anderson said. “and for some this has been their space for over 20 years, which I think has been tough for a lot of the teachers, and I didn’t anticipate that.”  

The transition has not been easy for anyone, but the outcome is what will make it all worth it.

At the beginning of the school year, rumor had it that A101, Mrs. Greenfield’s room, was to eventually be converted into a bank. Students and teachers believed that the bank would replace room A101 and would be accessible to the public.

Anderson proved these rumors to be partially true.

“We envisioned the bank would be right across from the business hub, which would be Mrs. Greenfield’s room,” Anderson said. “but as we look at the other high schools who have banks within them, we don’t think that [A101] is the best spot for it. We probably want it more inside the school.”  

Due to security reasons, the proposed bank will be accessible for use by staff and students only, rather than members of the community. Students who enroll in the school of business may even have the opportunity to work in the facility. The confirmed location for the bank is yet to be determined.

The most obvious part of the whole construction process comes down to the addition of new square footage to the music wing. At this time, workers are in the process of building additional classrooms for the music department. As part of this, the pool is being filled in and turned into two new classrooms for the department as well.

Photo courtesy of Cary Anderson
A glimpse at the expansion and reconstruction plans for Elkhart Memorial’s cafeteria.

Over the next few years, students can expect to see even more drastic changes, one of them being the lunchroom.  The cafeteria is to be expanded all the way into what is now the choir room and band room.

“The cafeteria will change to look more up-to-date, more boutiqueish, not so institutional,” Anderson said. “It will have more colors and more wood.”

Finally, the process of construction even goes as far as adding a new building between Memorial and the Career Center.  The building will be considered the School of Engineering and Technology.

Anderson describes our school being split up into different “hubs.”  

“We’ll have three hubs here at Memorial” Anderson said. “The business hub and the arts and communications hub on the first floor. Then on the second floor, where the math office is now, will be human services.”  

There will also be two hubs at the Career Center; health and public safety and school of natural resources.  Also being moved to the Career Center is the Family and Consumer Science program which includes cooking classes and child development.

“There won’t be any high school like us in the state of Indiana. If we do it right, there won’t be anything like us,” Anderson said.

This story was originally published on GENESIS on February 22, 2019.