Construction of school connector to begin, daily procedures may be impacted
The building of a connector that will attach Switzerland County Middle School to Switzerland County High School has been a topic of conversation for several years.
With middle school students needing to move to the high school building at different times for classes; weather has been a concern — as well as the safety of the students as they move between the buildings.
Now, that connector is about to become a reality.
Switzerland County Superintendent of Schools Rod Hite said that site work will soon begin on the east side of the high school — and that will create a need for some changes in drop offs and pick ups for other students.
Here is a statement by the superintendent concerning information about those changes:
The last week of September is an exciting week for Switzerland County School Corporation. The site work for the Middle School/High School connector is scheduled to begin and noticeable progress will start to take place in October.
There will be slight changes in drop off and pick up lines at Jeff Craig Elementary, Switzerland County Middle School and Switzerland County High School. Principals will be sending a map home to parents to describe the changes. These will be very slight changes in traffic flow in the parking lot as parents exit the lot or enter at the high school entrance across from the Ogle Haus.
Our goal is to have the least disruptions possible during the project but obviously to build a two story connector there will be slight disruptions as equipment and materials are being moved. All of the work will be contained in a fenced area and will be clearly marked.
During the day, there will be changes in student routines when going between buildings. All students will be supervised and use an alternative route to remain out of the construction areas.
There will be progress updates given throughout the project at board meetings. Once the project is completed there will be an open house for the community to tour the new facility.
With the establishment of the connector, we will have areas for shared courses to reduce student travel time, allow students to remain indoors in all weather conditions, be in a secure environment during transitions, establish a freshman academy to help students transition into high school students who must earn credits to graduate. There will also be additional course offerings to assist in college and career readiness.
This project addresses the obvious safety concerns for students moving between buildings but it also will help generations of students as they grow from elementary and middle school students into high school students. We know that COVID left students without a teacher for direct instruction and caused some students to fall behind. The focus of this freshman academy is to help all students, but specifically focus on the learning loss of students in their preparation of becoming productive high school students.
The freshman academy will help all our younger students as they grow into high school students for years to come. The expansion of a career readiness area will help students build relationships with local employers. Through the work of the instructor, who will be tasked with working with local employers to understand their needs, our focus will be preparing students to leave high school with some of the tools employers are looking for to help land that first job.
I walked the hallways of Jeff Craig the other day and noticed the bronze plaque showing the building date of 1954. Jeff Craig, all these generations later, is still helping educate our students and prepare them for their future.
Our goal, when building this connector, is to expand our facilities to help students for another 68 years and beyond.
Any parents having questions about the changes are asked to contact the school that their child attends.