The Story Behind the Chaos

Isaacs Explains the Whys, Whens, and Hows of Building Renovations


Renderings for the new main entrance.

Shelby Logsdon, Writer

I’m sure you have noticed the construction going on here at Central Hardin, and if you haven’t then I wish I could be as oblivious as you are to the things going on around me. At one point or another, everybody in this building has either been affected by the construction going on or you will be eventually, whether it is a matter of where you park your car in the mornings, your class being disrupted by the loud noises, or in the future your teacher’s classroom getting moved around. 

“These are the kind of things (school construction) that I actually am somewhat fascinated by, but it really interests a very small percentage of the population,” said principal Tim Isaacs.

Isaacs is very excited about the up and coming changes happening at Central.  He is involved in every little thing that goes into updating and adding on to the school, and he takes much pride in that. 

Central has been on the long list of schools in Hardin County that are due for renovations for a while now, but it hasn’t been the number one priority the whole time. It has gotten knocked down a few times by other schools that had more pressing matters compared to us. 

One of the variables that bumped Central Hardin up on the list was the Ford plant that is coming to Glendale in a few years. 

“Ford’s going to bring 5,000 people in here to work. 5,000 people are going to bring what? Families,” said Isaacs. 

The new plant coming to town will bring in more students for Central and other schools in Hardin County, meaning that eventually the school district may have to re-district, but those decisions will happen very far in the future.

The original plans for Central were just renovations, but the “board chair decided he didn’t want to do that. He decided we were putting lipstick on a pig, for lack of a better term, and that’s when they decided the renovation would really be as much about addition,” said Isaacs. 

The construction is happening in three different phases, and everything is on schedule except for the soccer field, which is “pathetically behind schedule,” said Isaacs. 

There is a geothermal well going under the soccer field which will heat and cool the building and dramatically drop the current cost. Another one will also be installed under the front parking lot. 

Isaacs said that the geothermal well installments being three months behind schedule has been one of the most frustrating things for him during all of this construction along with the constant changes of the entrances and exits throughout the year which are bound to change again. 

So far, the construction is on schedule with the first phase in the process which is the addition to the school that should be completed in 30-36 months after it was started in June 2021. ROTC, family consumer science, new science labs, and the library are just a few of the rooms that will be moved to the new addition as soon as it is up and ready for students. 

The second phase will be renovating the current classrooms that are staying in the 100, 200, 300, and 400 hallways. The renovations will include updating the classrooms to look better and be more practical for everybody and new hallways that are almost twice as wide as the current hallways. 

“If you’ve been in the new East, think about how wide that main hallway is when you are walking in,” said Isaacs. 

Teachers with rooms in the hallways that are being renovated will probably have to move their rooms to the ones that have been moved to the addition while their rooms are being worked on. 

“I knew everybody was probably going to end up moving at least once if not twice,” said Isaacs. 

Some teachers will even get a say on how the classes are set up in the new and improved Central Hardin. Some 3-D renderings will soon be brought in to incorporate some teachers in the small things like which wall the smart boards will be placed on. 

“We’ll bring a couple of social studies, a couple of English, and a couple of math teachers in because all of those are what we call ‘traditional’ classrooms, and we’ll come to a consensus that for the most part that we all agree that this is the wall that the smartboard makes the most sense on. But you all (the teachers) will ultimately decide that,” said Isaacs. 

The third phase of construction is tearing out the part of the building that was here before Central became a high school. 

The part of the building that was considered Hardin Central Middle School in the 1970s will be torn out and become the new parking lot. 

There are going to be constant changes to the parking lot throughout all of the construction, but Isaacs is hoping for most of it to be done during the summer. 

Some of the things Isaacs is most excited about for the new school are that his office and others will be at the front of the building and they will finally have cell service, the social stairs in the cafeteria which are wide stair cases that students can sit at and visit, and that the top half of the gym will wrap all the way around and connect.

All of the construction should be completely done and ready by the beginning of the school year in 2026, which would be five years from the start of it all in July 2021 if everything stays on schedule. 

This year’s freshman class will get to see and use most of the new and improved Central Hardin. 

“The juniors are the ones that got messed over the worst here,” said Isaacs. 

Isaacs has been invested in the construction going on since the very beginning and he is probably the person most excited for the changes here at Central Hardin and what it will mean for the school as a whole. 

“I’ve told people for years this is the best school in Hardin County and we’ll finally have the building that reflects the student body we’ve had since we opened,” said Isaacs.