Crown Point Community School Corporation
Taft Middle 64d6702a6ae8c

Crown Point (Indiana) district opens new middle school campus

Aug. 11, 2023
The $80 million Taft Middle School in Winfield replaces the existing 70-year-old Taft campus in Crown Point.

The Crown Point (Indiana) district has completed construction of a new campus in Winfield for Robert A. Taft Middle School.

The Gary Post-Tribune reports that the $80 million campus replaces the aging and cramped Taft facility in Crown Point.

The school will accommodate growing numbers of students in the district. Population in Crown Point has increased by 7,000 people since 2010 to about 34,600. Planning estimates forecast a population of about 42,000 by 2040.

The 230,000-square-foot facility sits on about 100 acres, seemingly rising out of large swaths of undeveloped land. Virtually all of Taft's 1,110 students will take a bus to the new school.

Principal Tracy Seibert marvels at the new school, especially when she compares it with the 70-year-old old Taft building.

Almost none of the now-standard science lab features, including a chemical hood vent and drop-down electrical outlets, existed at the old school, she said.

Thirty-six classrooms and nine science labs are spread across three separated pods for sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

Each classroom in all the district’s schools is equipped with interactive display panels that aid student-led discussions.

Taft’s media center is filled with natural light, and offers small and large group instruction rooms, casual seating and lots of books.

It dwarfs the former middle school’s media center, Seibert said. The cafeteria seats about 475 students with a patio and big windows for students to gaze out as they eat.

There’s also an applied skills room to instruct special education students in life skills such as using a microwave and doing laundry. The school also has two gymnasiums and a spacious football/soccer/track complex.

The architect for the new Taft is Gibraltar Design, and the construction manager is Skillman Corp.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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