Teen builders making the Fieldhouse shine

The seats lining New Castle High School’s Fieldhouse are scheduled to get some tender loving care this summer.

New Castle Career Center has received enough money from Eastern Indiana Works to pay up to 12 students in the NCCC Building Trades program to work on the Fieldhouse through June and July.

NCCC Director Chris Lamb was able to secure $92,000 in grant funding to pay the students for eight weeks of work.

“It’ll be a big savings for the school,” Lamb said.

First, the Building Trades students will replace cracked and damaged seats. Then, they will strip, sand, prep and stain the new wood. Lamb said they will also stencil on new lettering before putting on a finish coat.

The Building Trades program normally focuses on new construction. Students don’t typically get the opportunity to experience restoration techniques like they will get in the Fieldhouse project.

“Our students are gaining valuable work experience for their resumés and new skills,” Lamb said.

Lamb said the summer project will not cost the Career Center any money because the New Castle Community School Corporation is covering the cost of materials.

New Castle Superintendent Dr. Matt Shoemaker told his school board earlier this month he originally expected the Fieldhouse restoration project to come with a substantial price tag.

With the Eastern Indiana Works grant, the corporation can afford to pay for the project out of the capital project fund.

“It’s going to save us money, it’s going to give the kids experience, and they’re going to be able to do something to restore a beloved landmark,” Shoemaker told his board.

Lamb expects the restoration work to begin June 6.

– Story by Travis Weik at The Courier-Times. Read more local stories at www.TheCourierTimes.com. Email Travis at TWeik@TheCourierTimes.com.