A Whole New NCHS
By Alex Haglund
Things are coming along with summer renovations at Nashville Community High School, with interior work (including stunning new floor tile and paint) nearly complete at this point.
The NCHS Board took a look around the school before their regular meeting on Monday, July 25, and said that they were impressed with the look and eager to have the public see the school students would be heading to class at in less than a month.
“It looks quite a bit different than it did this time last year,” NCHS Superintendent Ernie Fowler told the board during his report at the beginning of the meeting. “Remodeling inside the school is coming to its close.”
Classes start on August 15, but the grand unveiling for the public will be before that– at 2016 student registration, which takes place on August 9 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“We expect that to be like almost an open house,” Fowler stated, “that’s when the vast majority of the kids and parents will be in the building, and many of them will be in for the first time, since the remodel. That’ll be the grand opening.”
The hallways seem larger and brighter now, an effect of the new paint on the walls and lockers, as much as from the new tile in its red, white and Hornets blue colors.
Also adding to the school’s brightness is the new color marquee display, centered above the “N” set into the floor just in the front entrance.
“You were welcomed by an electronic sign, a message board, and I have to give credit to Mr. (Paul) Welty,” Fowler told the board, “he designed that and built it. He, and I think some of his classes, had been working on that to close out last year. I thought that was pretty fancy for something that we designed in-house.”
“I think the board is pretty impressed,” Fowler recapped following the meeting, “I think that they are somewhat shocked by how good it looks.”
“After spending a year in what looked like a rundown warehouse, we’re proud of how the school looks now,” Fowler continued. “We’re happy with the remodeling, we’re happy with how it looks, and I think that it will be of good benefit to the kids when they return.”
By Alex Haglund
Meanwhile, outside of NCHS’ buildings, things have not progressed quite as far as they have indoors.
Currently, the lights for the football field have been delivered to the school, and contractors are working on running underground wiring, setting up electronics boxes and generally setting the stage for the work to come.
The work on the football field lighting did not start as quickly as many here might have liked, because the crew putting the lights in has had a busy summer, installing new fixtures all around the region, from Wisconsin to Missouri.
The lighting being installed is more efficient and brighter than what it replaces, and lighting will still have the same brightness and coverage as it does now, just with four poles instead of eight.
After the lighting’s installation is finished, they’ll begin work on the bleachers. First, the old bleachers will need to be removed. Next, a new concrete pad will be poured and finally, the new bleachers will be assembled.
Time is of the essence for the outdoors work, because unlike the tile and paint indoors, now complete with plenty of time before school’s start, the work on the fields is still going to take a while.
“We’ve gotten the inside pretty well – 95-percent-or-so, finished,” NCHS Superintendent Ernie Fowler said. “The outside, of course, right now they have been trenching and running electric for the new lights.”
Once the lighting us up and the pad has been poured, “we’re expecting delivery of our new bleachers on August 15, with installation being done by August 19. That’s our timeline.”
Once the bleachers are completely installed, all of the summer’s work, “ought to be done once that’s finished,” Fowler said. “It ought to pretty much wrap up everything.”
That time can’t come soon enough for Fowler, those working to facilitate all of the renovations, or even those involved with the NCHS Hornets football program. The first NCHS Football game of the season is soon: August 26 against Carlyle at 7 p.m., at home on the field that the crews are scrambling to finish. Even sooner, there will also be a scrimmage on August 19, the day Fowler said work was scheduled to be complete by, at 6 p.m.