Center Grove doing $4 million in projects

Center Grove students will return to remodeled entrances, added sidewalks and improved roads and parking lots at their schools this fall.

This summer, about $4 million in work is happening at different Center Grove schools.

When the projects are done, parking lots will be repaired and improved, including projects to help with traffic at the high school and at Center Grove Middle School North and Pleasant Grove Elementary School.

One of the key projects is remodeling the entrances to Center Grove High School and Maple Grove Elementary School to make them more secure. In recent years, multiple Center Grove schools were remodeled so that their entrances required a person to check in at the office before entering the building.

At Maple Grove, the entrance was already secure, where a visitor would need to pass through a second set of doors before entering the school, but officials wanted to improve it, Center Grove schools spokeswoman Stacy Conrad said.

They added a check-in window that connects to the office from the main entrance area. Now, if a visitor comes into the school, they will need to show their license and be checked out before they get into the office so staff members can decide if they should be let into the school building, Conrad said.

At the high school, if a visitor entered the building through the Hall of Excellence, office staff had a camera and speaker so they could speak to the person wanting to get in, who would then walk to the attendance office once inside the school.

Cameras could be used to watch where the person was going, but no one was there with them. So officials decided to remodel a ticket booth into a secure attendance station, where a staff member will be able to see people after they come into the school, Conrad said.

The list of work also includes adding a seclusion or calm down room at Bridges Academy, an alternative education program for students located at the academy building just south of the high school.

The area will be a room that is empty with safe material on the walls and floor so students cannot hurt themselves, Center Grove Director of Special Education Allison Chance said.

If students are overwhelmed or at risk of hurting themselves or others, they can go to this safe space to calm down, have one-on-one time with an adult and work to regulate their behavior, Chance said.

The room is new to the building, though some other Center Grove buildings have spaces dedicated to a similar purpose, she said.

The Bridges Academy already had a sensory room for students and a calming corner, giving students a space to get away from others and get the input they need to help calm them, she said.

But this new space adds another layer of support for students, Chance said.

“We didn’t have that next layer of support, when a student needs to be in a safe spot, and other techniques have not worked,” Chance said.

Staff will work with students on how to use the space to regulate themselves so they can return to the classroom, she said.

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Here is a look at the projects planned by Center Grove schools this summer:

Road and parking lot improvements at Center Grove High School, Center Grove Middle School North, Maple Grove Elementary School and the operations center

Building and equipping a seclusion room at Bridges Academy

Upgrading and improving outdoor lighting at Center Grove buildings

Renovating and remodeling entrances at Center Grove High School and Maple Grove Elementary School to make them more secure

Constructing or repairing sidewalks, walking paths or curbs at Center Grove Elementary School, Maple Grove Elementary School, Center Grove Middle School North and North Grove Elementary School