Pierce Middle School entrance construction
Clifford Pierce Middle School will be getting a facelift.
The purpose of the approximately $1.6 million construction project is to increase security by bringing the administrative offices to the front of the building and changing visitor traffic flow through the entrance.
“We will be able to better monitor visitors and see what’s going on in front of the school,” said LaFonda Morris, principal. “We will also have better access to the cafeteria, where additional supervision may be necessary.”
As a result, visiting parents will have increased access to administrators.
The project will create new offices for the principal, two assistant principals and dean of students; work areas for the office staff and receptionist; conference room for confidential meetings with parents; workspace and supply area; and also add utilities and ventilation.
The Merrillville Community School Corporation already has the funds for the project, so taxpayers will not be impacted. The bulk of the renovation will be paid for by savings that resulted from refinancing a previous bond.
In addition, a small portion of the project cost will be paid by the balance of a fund that was used to accumulate reimbursements from previous projects.
The construction project is scheduled to begin Oct. 14, 2019, and last approximately till the end of February. Until then, the new main entrance into Pierce Middle School will be Door #5, located on its south side.
The Memory Garden that was located in front of the building will be moved to the north side of the new main entrance.
The project will change traffic flow for student drop-offs beginning Oct. 7, 2019.
New traffic pattern for student drop-offs
Parents dropping off students are asked to enter the parking lot from Catherine St. at the southwest end of the campus.
To get to the entrance, they should travel north on Catherine St., take a right turn into the parking lot, loop around and drop off their children on the peninsula sidewalk by the school. Students will walk down and enter through Door #5.
Parents must exit the parking lot at the same place they entered, but they must turn right out of the lot and continue heading north on Catherine St. No left-hand turns onto Catherine St. will be allowed in order to keep traffic moving.