Ground is broken on new $49M Carlisle school building

More than a year after Carlisle voters approved a nearly $21 million bond issue for local funding to construct a new PK-12 school building, the community gathered together Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony.

“It was a fun day,” said Superintendent Larry Hook. “It’s on now (that construction is underway).”

The ceremony featured local and state officials, community members and the district’s entire student body and at the end of the day, students got to use shovels and turn some dirt, Hook said.

Hook said construction fencing for the more than $49 million project, which included $29 million in state funding, will be going up next week as contractors begin to do some early site preparation work and relocate some utilities. He said the foundations for the building will be put in during the next few months. The nearly 210,000 square-foot building is expected to be completed and ready by the fall of 2020.

“From the time we passed the bond issue in May 2017, we’ve had an army of professionals working behind the scenes such as architects, finance experts and others,” Hook said. “It’s just absolutely exciting.”

The 6.2-mill bond issue was approved by a 67 percent to 33 percent margin. In addition to building the new school building, the bond issue revenues will also be used to demolish the district’s four current buildings: Carlisle High School, Chamberlain Middle School, Grigsby Intermediate School and Alden Brown Elementary School.

The new state of the art, two-story facility will have separate sections for the pre-school, kindergarten and elementary school students at one end of the building, a middle school section in the middle of the building, and the high school at the other end of the building.

In addition, the Carlisle school district’s central office will be housed there as well. The building will also have a 500-seat auditorium as well as one central kitchen that will serve meals to two separate cafeterias, one for elementary students and the other for secondary students. It will also have the latest school security features, Hook said.

Hook said the building will be able to house the current student enrollment of 1,500 and will have the ability to grow to accommodate as many as 1,800 students.

“It will create an optimal learning environment for our kids,” Hook said. “It will be a wonderful showcase for our kids and our community.”

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