"All of the floors are poured at Carden Park," says Tad Hopkins, architect for the St. Joseph School District. "All of the underground electrical and plumbing is complete under the slabs and they're going up with walls. At the northeast school, they're pouring floors now. All the foundation work is finished."
Designs for the two buildings are quite different. The Carden Park school will be two stories while the northeast school will have just one story. However, each will have about 80,000 square feet of space.
"Each building will basically offer identical services, identical programs," said Ron Auxier, lead architect for Ellison-Auxier Architects. "Room sizes will be very close and identical such as the gymnasium size and use will be very similar and equal to one another for the new schools."
A lot of thought went into the design of the schools. One feature in particular took high priority.
"You want the building to be safe for the faculty and for the students and the children," Auxier said. "They come expecting the building to be safe."
These are the first new public schools in St. Joseph in 40 years. It's a special time for staff.
"It's exciting for the district," Hopkins said. "We don't get to do it very often. It was needed and we're trying our best to do it right because the voters trusted us with these two new schools and we want to do it right."
For Auxier, it's a moment for reflection of the past and a look ahead to the future.
"Life comes full circle," Auxier said. "You start your education here at this district and I return now able to build a brand new elementary school for the students here in the the school district."
Construction is scheduled to be complete in time for students next fall.