NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A new expansion now in the works at Noblesville High School will support the instruction of STEM and performing arts and also aims to address a significant rise in student population, school officials announced Wednesday.
The academic expansion at Noblesville High School would add 70,000 square feet of new space in support of science, technology, engineering, and math, or "STEM," programming, as well as renovate 37,000 square feet for performing arts.
Up to 22 new classrooms would be added for both STEM and academic courses, and there are plans for an additional cafe area.
The expansion marks the largest at NHS since the school's freshman center was added in 2014.
Leaders at Noblesville Schools said the project would address rising capacity needs at the high school, and support programs the school has been recognized for nationally.
“They are huge points of pride for our community. This additional space will allow us to meet growing demand and best prepare students for future high-paying, competitive careers," said Dr. Daniel G. Hile, who is the superintendent of Noblesville Schools.
Since 2012, school leaders said the overall population at Noblesville High School has grown by 25%, but STEM class enrollment has seen a 193% increase and performing arts saw a 76% enrollment increase.
Some of the career and technical education options at NHS are seeing even larger enrollment growth - enrollment for certified nursing programs have increased by 875%, welding by 400%, and construction by 356%.
In addition to the increasing demands for these programs, the high school needs general classroom, meeting, and lunch space.
NHS leaders said they are currently at full capacity with approximately 3,300 students, and are projected to remain so for many years to come.
Some teachers are currently challenged to share classrooms or rotate through the building working on moving carts, and some students are turned away from classes they would like to take due to limited space, according to Noblesville Schools.
The full expansion plan includes:
- Up to 22 new classrooms, including space for STEM and traditional academic courses
- Construction and welding labs
- Hands-on STEM makerspace
- A second student café
- Renovated large group instruction room to provide flexible meeting space
- Expanded jazz space
- New percussion and piano lab areas
- Expanded choir facilities, storage, and soundproofing