Noblesville Planning Dept. Partners With Our Lady Grace Catholic School For Box City Program


Box City 

Box CityThe Noblesville Planning Department hosted its annual Box City program on April 10 and 11 at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School to introduce students to local government processes, urban planning and development, and being civically engaged.

“We are pleased to partner with Our Lady of Grace Catholic School again and bring them Box City. It’s a fun way for the city’s planning department to teach kids about the various procedures required to successfully design, build and expand a city,” said Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear. “The program also provides students a look at how government works and how various departments work together.”

Hamilton County Historian David Heighway provided a history lesson about Noblesville and how and why settlement of cities happened along waterways. The city also shared about the White River, its clean-up efforts, river activation and the ongoing regional vision plan. Third and fourth grade students worked with the city’s planning department and other staff members to construct “buildings” out of boxes and then design and construct a city from those buildings.

“It’s an opportunity to teach students about how government works, building permits and processes, rules, regulations, zoning issues, and architecture and design procedures – all the stuff we live daily, they get a chance to see it first-hand and for the first time,” Noblesville Planning Director Sarah Reed said. “Getting kids exposed to the regulatory process early on makes it a fun lesson learned as opposed to when they grow up and may feel like it is an unnecessary formality.”

Students were responsible for constructing their own buildings by using the same standards and methods required in the City of Noblesville. They also determined the master layout of the city by using scale to divide larger tracts of land into individual lots.

“They students had a great time and a couple of groups worked together to become a development corporation so they could develop entire blocks how they wanted to,” said Rina Neeley, associate planner and Box City organizer.

Noblesville previously conducted Box City programs at Promise Road Elementary School as a tie-in to its project-based learning curriculum. For more information about Noblesville’s Box City project, contact the planning department at (317) 776-6325.