WCS Breaks Ground On Edgewood Middle School Renovations, Additions

Warsaw Community Schools held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the Edgewood Middle School improvements.
Groundbreakings previously were held for Washington STEM Academy improvements and a new Lincoln Elementary School.
Washington STEM is projected to be completed by the start of the 2016-2017 school year; and Edgewood and Lincoln will be completed by the start of the spring semester in 2017.
Edgewood will have a new STEM lab, secure entrance, a new front door and a music and arts area. Other features are administration offices, and science, math, social studies, history and language arts classrooms. There will be a choral and band room, gym, fitness and wrestling rooms, a new kitchen and special education area.
JoElla Smyth, Edgewood principal, said the additions and renovations will greatly benefit the school.
“This is a great opportunity to increase school safety and improve the learning environment because we will have real walls, a door to every classroom, the simple things we have not had in a long time. We now will be able to expend the STEM program and have a large STEM lab. Our numbers are going up for robotics and our Project Lead The Way courses,”  Smyth said.
There will be glass doors so people can watch students do science experiments.
She said the school also wants to highlight its arts program and will be able to do so with renovations to the band room.
Andrew Bass, seventh-grade honors science teacher and eighth-grade science and biology, said the school will get four new science rooms that will be used by four science teachers.
“The way the rooms will be constructed will be conducive to hands-on laboratory investigations,” Bass said.
Currently, in the science classrooms there are desks that seat two students per desk.
“We will now have nine stations in each room that will have a sink with cold and hot water, the sinks won’t leak, we will have gas at each station and USB ports and outlets,” Bass said.
He said he will be able to set labs up at each station.
Susan Eberhardt, teacher librarian, said the renovations will allow the library to be a learning commons area instead of a traditional library.
“Learning commons will allow us to have flexible space where we can group and regroup for project-based learning,” Eberhardt said.
There will be room for large and small group instruction.
“There is so much more with collaboration in the workforce that we need our students to be able to learn to work together. We are working so our building has group learning spaces,” Eberhardt said.
Edgewood seventh-grade students are excited for the renovations.
“I used to use the STEM lab at Washington when I went there and am looking forward to a new STEM lab at Edgewood,” said Emma Spencer.
Carson Kerlin said he is looking forward to band room renovations.
“I play the trombone and it will be nice to have a new band room and have more room to practice,” Kerlin said.
Dr. David Hoffert, WCS superintendent, said the school corporation is excited for the renovations.
“We know this will be the trickiest of the three projects due to it being internal work inside of the school. There will not be a great deal of ground movement,” Hoffert said.