The 2013 Special Election was held on May 7, 2013, for the purpose of voting on the HSE School District Referendum requesting to issue bonds or enter into a lease to finance the expansion and related improvements of Fishers High School and HSE High School. A total of 6,359 voters cast their ballots on Election Day. The resulting vote was 67.87% voting yes and 32.13% voting no. A detailed Referenda Summary Report can be found at www.hamiltoncountry.in.gov.
Now that the HSE School District has been given the green light to move forward with the expansion and related improvements of Fishers High School and HSE High School, the next phase of the design-build process begins. Design-build is an alternative to the design-bid-build method of construction. CSO Architects will design the project to 50% completion likely from now until September, at which point a design-build team will be selected to finish the design phase, and begin and complete construction. This team will consist of architects, engineers, and contractors who will work collaboratively to ensure the best construction outcomes by focusing on efficiency, cost savings, faster delivery with fewer problems, and developing innovative results in the final products. Mike Reuter, chief financial officer of HSE School District, said, “Our most recent build of the HSE Junior High on Cyntheanne Road was built using the design-build process. It was the largest public design-build project in Indiana. We were very pleased with the process and look forward to using it again for the expansions of both high schools.”
The district estimates that construction will begin sometime in October or November of this year and continue until a target completion date in June of 2015. The new additions are scheduled to open for the August, 2015, school year. Reuter also noted that the only construction that has already begun is on the bus parking lot at Fishers High School. He said, “This parking lot construction was necessary now to provide a staging area for future construction at that location.”
Because the district’s elementary enrollment numbers have stabilized, Reuter anticipates this construction should take care of the space needed for our current K–12 students for the next 10 years – barring unusual circumstances that may arise. “As a result of tight operating funds, we can afford only to open new space just in time for the arrival of the students into their respective grades,” Reuter said. “Fishers High School will be operating with 4 portable classrooms in the 2013-2014 school year and with 8 portable classrooms in the 2014–2015 school year.” In August of 2015, the need for those portables at Fishers High School will be eliminated.
The new additions at HSE High School will allow those students who would have attended the Freshman Center to move back to HSE High School. As a result, the Freshman Center will be converted back to a middle grade building.
The HSE School District is planning the necessary space needs at both high schools by providing space that will support a shift in instruction to include more 21st century learning. The focus will continue to be on preparing our students for success as they move to post-secondary education.
As the HSE School District looks to the future, let’s pause and reflect on the current success of our schools. The U.S. News & World Report released their 2013 rankings for best high schools, and Fishers High School and HSE High School ranked in the top 10 high schools in Indiana and received national rankings.
Additional information on outstanding high schools in the country can be found at http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.