By Betsy Reason
A roundabout at the intersection of Cumberland Road and Field Drive nearest Noblesville High School is gaining a little more school spirit as a giant, new art sculpture, a distinctive “N,” is installed this week.
After my daughter’s aunt messaged me a cell-phone video of the sculpture installation in progress on Tuesday morning, I had to go see it for myself.
So at noon Tuesday, I motored around the roundabout, which was busy with workers in big white trucks from The Sign Group Inc (SGI) in Indianapolis. More than once, I drove around the roundabout, stopping in the roundabout lanes to try to snap a photo of the giant “N,” without holding up traffic behind me.
The best photo opportunity was from the northeast side of the roundabout, just before the noon sun shined into my camera lens.
The new art celebrates the district’s “distinctive ‘N’” in school colors, black and gold, with the words, “Noblesville” and “Millers” highlighted on each side of a giant “N,” in one of the busiest roundabout intersections in the city, just before and after school.
The iconic “N” honors Noblesville Schools’ students, staff, alumni and families, past, present and future, Cooke said in a prior press release for the media. It’s the second art sculpture in a roundabout in Noblesville, the first being a city sculpture at the roundabout at the intersection of 10th and Greenfield and Christian avenues.
Two 17-foot, aluminum Ns facing in opposite directions — greeting drivers from the north and the south — are being installed. The Ns are being placed at an angle in the roundabout for best visibility from many viewpoints, according to school spokesperson Marnie Cooke.
The first “N” was installed on Tuesday facing mainly north, with the second “N” to be installed, opposite, at the same angle, facing mainly south.
Although Noblesville Schools announced the construction of the school-themed art sculpture in mid-September, the district launched a community art contest two years ago, in 2019, to seek design inspiration for the art sculpture that will showcase school spirit.
Five of the art submissions featured a prominent “N” to be used for the sculpture. Winning submissions were entered by: Carter Metzger, Noblesville West Middle School sixth-grader; Amelia Wiggins, Noblesville High School sophomore; Kelsie Hayward, 2021 NHS graduate; Jakob O’Dell, 2019 NHS graduate; and Donna Hess, Noblesville Schools receptionist.
This roundabout was selected due to its location at the center of several schools, school facilities and athletic venues, including the new NHS multipurpose stadium, to open in 2022 as Beaver Stadium, thanks to Beaver Materials’ $250,000 sponsorship over five years.
Originally expected to be completed by October, Cooke said on Tuesday that the sculpture’s construction was behind schedule due to rain and wind. “We expect it to be finished this week and will be honoring it officially with an upcoming ribbon cutting.”
School and city officials will attend the private ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with the students and an employee recognized for the sculpture’s design inspiration.
Cooke said the art sculpture project cost $80,000 and is being funded through the same construction bond being used to build Beaver Stadium.
She said, “This means no increase in taxes, no referendum funds and no use of education dollars.”
-Contact Betsy Reason at email@example.com. What do you think of the new art sculpture in the roundabout? Drop me a line.