TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Vigo County School Corporation’s third biggest school will see a multi-million dollar renovation.
Otter Creek Middle School will see up to 10 million dollars of renovations throughout different areas of the school. This will particularly help the music department, giving each group an adequate area to practice.
“The excitement of providing our students with the opportunity to show them that their passions are important. That what they are interested in matters. I’m excited to see these new spaces in action,” Sarah Gore, principal of Otter Creek Middle School, said.
Providing students with more outlets and activities is essential for students, according to Director of Communications for the Vigo County School District, Bill Riley.
“Part of our strategic plan includes offering students more extracurricular activities in music and athletics. When you look at the Otter Creek building, those spaces are really lacking,” Riley said.
Otter Creek is the biggest middle school in Vigo County without an auxiliary gym, but with the renovations this need will be addressed.
According to Gore, many teachers don’t have their own classrooms, resulting in some teachers having to work out of makeshift offices from closets. Under the new design, Otter Creek’s two separate cafeterias will be used differently.
The larger cafeteria will be remodeled for more classroom space and the smaller one will be extended for more seating options for students.
“All of this eyes on creating more classroom space within the building. This is going to help our teachers be more comfortable as well and provide better classrooms for our students,” Riley said.
This will be financed through a building corporation process in order to prevent the corporation from incurring more debt.
“It’s a really standard, best practice with school corporations across Indiana. The real reason is it doesn’t affect our plan to take on other kinds of debt,” Riley said.
“The next step is to set up a building corporation for the particular building. That building corporation will lease part of Otter Creek back to the school corporation. They’ll take the debt so it doesn’t impact our debt cap. We have a lot of debt falling off, so this will come out of our normal debt service budget,” Riley said.
If the corporation process and bonds are approved, construction on the renovations could start as soon as this spring with the expected completion date to be August 2022.
“I’m very excited to have these new spaces full of people — our students, our community, our parents. I think it’s going to be an exciting time for our community,” Gore said.