BATESVILLE, INDIANA — The next phase of upgrades to the outdoor athletic facilities at Batesville High School (BHS) will take place concurrently with the construction of the planned industrial technology lab, announced Batesville Community School Corporation (BCSC) superintendent Paul Ketcham. The BCSC school board approved both projects at its April meeting, requiring no increase in local property taxes.
“With the football field and track improvements complete, we now look to phase two of the athletic facilities’ overhaul which will include the tennis courts, varsity baseball and softball fields, and a new fan entry for the western part of the complex,” Ketcham said. “We are also ready to break ground on the industrial technology lab, which will provide on-site opportunities for our students entering the trades. We appreciate local manufacturer Wood-Mizer stepping forward as an integral partner in the lab’s development.”
As with other recent construction projects at BCSC, Mike Schipp, AIA, from the Indianapolis-based architecture, interiors, and engineering firm Fanning Howey, worked with the BCSC team to design the proposed spaces. For the lab project, Schipp and representatives from BCSC and Wood-Mizer visited other welding labs as he and his team looked to create a space specifically tailored to local needs.
The new 9100-square-foot technology lab will be located on the north side of the building as an extension of the wing where the agriculture and art rooms are currently located. Planned features include welding stations, a training/assembly area, and professional development and work spaces for both the business partner and students.
“The industrial technology lab is a giant step forward for us as we reenvision what education looks like in Batesville,” Ketcham said. “With workforce demands changing, we need to involve our community and business partners more in determining how best to prepare our students. This partnership with Wood-Mizer is an example of the future of education at BCSC.”
Looking to the outdoor venues, phase two of the athletic facilities improvements will include the area immediately east of the football field, where new varsity baseball and softball fields will be constructed, as well as an enhanced fan entrance from the parking lot to the south. Farther east, the current tennis courts will be replaced with an expanded tennis court complex. The tennis area will include eight new courts, including four that will also be striped for pickleball use by the community.
“We have been very intentional with our focus on this next set of improvements,” Ketcham explained. “The Batesville Bulldog community is an important part of our consideration, so the new fields will include grassy berms for additional family seating and a more accessible, centralized entry point into these sporting events. The new tennis courts will be a community resource for everyone to enjoy.”
Bids for these projects will be accepted this spring and construction is planned to begin this summer. Barring any delays, the athletic facilities should be completed by year-end and the industrial lab should be ready for students in the fall of 2024.
“We continue to ‘believe in better’ as our motto says,” Ketcham concluded. “We are prudent stewards of our resources while moving our corporation forward. Just as these two construction projects will improve our indoor and outdoor facilities, they will also provide opportunities for students’ minds and physical well-being. It will be a busy but exciting time on the north side of BHS for the next year.”