$4 million upgrade to Hoosier Prairie Elem.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A $4,000,000 upgrade is coming for a Vigo County school. Monday, Vigo County’s school board voted on a new project to renovate one of the county’s last “open concept” buildings to meet the needs of modern students.

In the 1970’s Vigo County built several schools in the mold of open concepts. The idea was to have classrooms with moveable walls and open spaces would foster a better learning environment.

But almost 40 years later, the “concept” poses other problems.

“Really what the teachers are doing is kind of making makeshift walls with cabinets and the folding doors,” Vigo County Superintendent Danny Tanoos said.  “We really wanna make it an

environment that’s good for students and staff.”

The open concepts floor plan within the Hoosier Prairie elementary school walls is creating barriers of their own.

In a world with an emphasis on school security, classrooms without doors pose a problem.

“The main reason is to make it more safe, secure and make the learning environment more conducive to more teaching and learning,” Tanooas said.

That’s the plan to renovate Hoosier Prairie at a cost around $4 million. Monday night Vigo County’s school board approved a resolution to move forward with the project.

“We definitely need to put in an extra entryway into the building,” Tanoos said. “We need to look at the exteriors because that is a low graded area so we want to get that looked at. Also putting up walls and doors in that building which they don’t have right now.”

Down the road the project should put almost no burden on tax payers. Funding will come from the school corporation’s capital projects fund. It should finally shut the door on open concept buildings in Vigo County.

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