Did you know Indianapolis Public Schools employs their own welders, mechanics, carpenters, painters, electricians and more? These craftsmen are all a part of our Facilities Management Division (FMD).

These talented individuals keep our schools and facilities maintained so our students have optimized learning environments. And one of those learning environments is about to go through some major changes thanks to the ingenuity of a creative team of FMD employees.

A few months ago Tom Cox and his team were in a meeting regarding a new project at Thomas D. Gregg School 15. The school has a curriculum focused on aviation and aerospace, and the school wanted to bring some of those elements to life. They’d gotten ahold of some airline seats and wanted to use those in their new Pacers Mission Control Room.

When Cox heard they were just going to be used for decoration he was confused. “Let’s make them move around, let’s have the kids actually experience what it’s like to be on an airplane!” And that’s how he ended up as the lead for the project.

Cox and his team recycled parts from across the district, including an old airplane from Arsenal Tech and video boards and control panels from the former IPS Television building.

FMD workers stripped the airplane and repainted it. Telecom workers built a mission control panel complete with working video cameras, lights and sound. Welders built a frame for the simulator, and the mill workers will build a frame so the simulator actually looks like the inside of an airplane.

“It’s for the kids,” says Cox. “To catch their attention. It’s great to see everything come together. Everyone has been great about working together and throwing their ideas out there.”

The airplane and simulator will be installed at Thomas Gregg over fall break. We’ll continue to cover this story as it progresses! We can’t wait to see how everything comes together!