First phase of Lake Central construction projects begins
By Christin Nance Lazerus email@example.com August 1, 2012 5:26PM
Emily Reznik, 10, and sister Ashley Reznik, 6, of St. John, look over artist's renderings on display as officials mingle after the Lake Central High School groundbreaking ceremony in St. John, Ind. Wednesday August 1, 2012. The new academic wing will be built where the existing track is and where the ceremony took place. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 1, 2012 9:00PM
ST. JOHN — Lake Central School Corp. employees and community members gathered at what was the high school track on Wednesday afternoon to break ground on the first phase of the school’s transformation.
Voters approved a $160 million construction referendum last fall to pay for a renovation at the high school and a reconstruction of Protsman Elementary in Dyer. Both buildings aren’t able to house their current student populations, so each had to use portable classrooms.
Construction crews have already dug up the cinder and sod on the track, so a three-story classroom building can be located on the site. The building is expected to be complete by next fall; students will relocate to the new classrooms while the main building, which dates from the 1960s, undergoes a reconstruction and expansion.
Twelve shovels were stuck in the dirt while those involved with the project spoke of its importance.
Lake Central High School Assistant Principal Sean Begley said staff and students have known that the school needed some help for a while.
“While I was doing bus duty, I would stand next to that sinkhole and think, ‘I know we can do better,’” Begley said. “When I was in the crowded D hall during passing period, I always knew we could do better. This project is a culmination of a lot of great people working together.”
General manager Rick Blair of Turner Construction said projects like Lake Central High School are meaningful.
“I have the benefit of building buildings for a living, and those projects that mean more are those that help the community,” he said.
Superintendent Larry Veracco lauded those who worked to make the referendum successful, particularly voters and teachers like Kathy Szewciw.
“Many thought that the Tri-Town area would never pass a referendum,” Szewciw said. “It took hard work from administrators, staff, students and community members, who were walking through neighborhoods, knocking on doors and calling voters. When we see this taking shape, we all feel a sense of pride.”