MUNCIE, Ind. — School officials broke ground on Monday for a $6.7 million construction project including new science labs, offices and a more secure entrance at Delta High School.

“I think the safety issue will be the one people see the most from the outside,” Principal Chris Conley said. “With the more secure entrance, the office will be the first place you come into.”

The main office is currently buried in the middle of the building.

“So we buzz people in and then you have to hope they get to you,” Conley told The Star Press. “This way, you will be buzzing in and when you enter the front door you will enter a secure area, then enter into the office and then be released into the building. So there will be … two different locked ways for you to get in.”

Speaking during a ground-breaking ceremony, Superintendent Reece Mann said, “You are going to know where the front entrance is to Delta High School, and you are going to know when you walk into our building, ‘Oh my, are we entering a prison here?’  That’s perfect. Whatever the case may be, we want to try to protect our kids at the utmost cost.”

While the new entrance on the building’s south side will be more secure, it won’t actually have the look and feel of a prison, said Matt Mayol, president of Odle McGuire Shook Architects, Indianapolis. Instead, it will have a modern, warm and welcoming feel, he explained.

John Adams, president of the Delaware Community Schools board, speaks during Monday’s announcement of new school improvements.

“On behalf of the school board … we couldn’t be more proud,” said John Adams, board president. “We’re ready to get this thing going and get this school updated a little bit.”

The rural high school north of Muncie was built in 1974, remodeled in the early 1990s, and remodeled again a decade later.

Buses will continue to drop off students at the current main entrance on the west side of the building, but once school starts that entrance will be locked and all foot traffic will go through the new entrance. 

The project will add 12,125 square feet of new, two-story space including the entrance, offices and three new science labs. Another 24,500 square feet of space will be renovated, including three more science labs. In addition, 324,500 square feet of pavement will be repaired; 38,125 square feet of new parking and driveways will be added; and 25,700 square feet of new concrete sidewalks will be added.

Source: The Star Press