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Lisa Fenchel and John Brickey, sixth and fifth year principals respectively at Novi Meadows Primary School, pose with a beam that staff recently signed. The beam will be placed above the desk in the new Novi Meadows Primary School building, which is scheduled to open for all fifth and sixth graders in the fall of 2024.

Kim Troost, a teacher at Novi Meadows Elementary School, signs a beam that will be used as part of the construction above the office in the school’s new building, which is due to open next year.

Photo courtesy of George Sipple

    Eric Hettel, assistant maintenance manager, left, and Mike Dragoo, maintenance manager, pose with the beam, which they signed.

Eric Hettel, assistant maintenance manager, left, and Mike Dragoo, maintenance manager, pose with the beam, which they signed.

Photo courtesy of George Sipple


NOVI – Staff at Novi Meadows Elementary School on Taft Road, south of 11 Mile Road, commemorated the construction of their own building by dedicating a beam on August 30 that will be used as part of the base structure above the office of the new school building.

Lisa Fenchel, sixth grade principal at Novi Meadows, which is an upper elementary school for fifth and sixth grades, said the signature beam was the construction company’s idea.

“We thought it was a great idea to have everyone who worked to prepare for the opening of this new school to kind of have something they could say, ‘Hey, my name is there. I was part of it,” Fenchel said. “A lot of us worked there for a really long time, so it was a good thing to do.”

She said the beam is just to give recognition to those who helped plan the new building, which is built directly across from the current building and will incorporate part of it. She said their current building used to be the town’s high school and middle school. The beam will be installed in the ceiling above the main office, and once installed, it will not be visible.

“It’s pretty cool to know that there’s a little piece of us that’s going to be part of this new building that’s going to be here for a very long time,” said Heather Burnside, sixth-grade social studies teacher and president of the Educational Association of Novi. “It was a fun way to welcome the staff back.”

She said it helps staff recommit to the fact that while building now can be tedious, in a year they will have their own building.

“It was a nice way to make us feel like we’re part of something big that’s going to last,” Burnside said.

“We never had a space that was built for us,” said Fenchel, who has worked at the school for 31 years. “We just took over other people’s spaces. So this is Novi Meadows’ first time building its own space, and we’ll all be together in one place. It’s just nice. It was just a way to bring everyone together and get them excited about the actual building part.

The new building, paid for with 2019 bond funds, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2023 for fifth-grade students. Sixth-grade students will join them in the fall of 2024.

“We’ve always wanted a building built specifically for kids our age, and we’re finally getting it,” Fenchel said. “It’s exciting, and it’s exciting for the community. We have all the students here at Novi Meadows when they are in fifth and sixth grade. It will therefore be an excellent element that the whole community can benefit from. “

The beam was to be installed at 8 a.m. on September 8. Fenchel said they also plan to have the kids sign a bundle. She said the children’s sign beam will be a visible part of the structure. However, no date has been set for the signing of the children’s bundle.