South Madison schools plans new high school activity center

PENDLETON — South Madison Community School Corp. is moving ahead with plans to build a new student activity center, two additional locker rooms and an expanded wrestling room at Pendleton Heights High School.

“We are in dire need, and have been for years, for an area for students to practice activities,” Superintendent Joe Buck said. “We’ve been waiting patiently, and we think the time is right to move forward with this project.”

The South Madison Community School Corp. board of trustees will review plan details at its next board meeting, Buck said.

That meeting is set for 7 p.m. Nov 16, at the corporation office, 203 S. Heritage Way, Pendleton.

School officials met with construction project heads at the August 2017 board meeting and conducted a facility review.

Seeing the need to update the high school’s amenities, the school board gave permission to move forward in planning the center and other renovations.

The project will be the first time in 20 years the high school has undergone construction, Buck said.

In 1997, there were plans to construct an activity center at the high school, but the project was dropped. With the new project in motion, the administration plans to create a space that will support academic, curricular and co-curricular activities.

The activity center will provide Pendleton Heights’ band, choir, color guard and percussion organizations with a reliable area to rehearse.

With plans for a robust weight training room in the works, the center also will be designed to serve as a practice space for high school athletic teams.

In addition to the center, the remodeling project includes plans to increase the size of the wrestling room. The district also will construct two new locker rooms — one boys and one girls.

Pendleton Heights High School administration already has met with architects and engineers in the project planning process. The administration’s needs and wish list continues to grow; in the coming weeks, the district will be updated on what exact specifications the project entails.

The school board will conduct two preliminary determination hearings at future meetings to discuss specific tasks and financing options.

In other news:

• East Elementary School administrators gave a presentation on student activity programs and an evaluation on standardized test scores. East Elementary’s third, fourth and sixth grades ISTEP scores are above the state average in math and language arts. Fifth grade also is above average in language arts but below average in math.