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Local company custom-making stones for Central High School expansion

Posted at 10:16 PM, Oct 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-29 23:16:57-04

Many of Omaha's buildings represent our City's history. One such gem, Central High School is in the midst of an expansion.

Central High School is getting a multi-million dollar upgrade. The century-old building is getting a 50,000 square foot addition to the east side facing 20th St.

The $22 million dollar project started in June and will open up opportunities for several programs, including a new 7,000 square foot library.

A new band studio and a new black-box theater will be in the new addition, along with new class rooms that will greatly help the art department. 

With the school's older building, a local company is going to great lengths to ensure the history of the original building is incorporated into the school's new performing arts expansion. 

Carson Stone Supply, a natural stone wholesaler and architectural stone fabrication company from Elkhorn is working with the Central High School Foundation to recreate the stones from the original building.

"For the total stone piece count, we're at about 4,000 individual pieces for this project. It's a big puzzle - every single piece has an exact home and an exact rhyme or reason as to why it's going where it is," said owner and CEO of the company, Scott Carson.

Even making sure hte stones came from the same place.

"The stone was sourced from Indiana around the Bedford, Bloomington area. That's one of the most historically known limestone deposits and that's where the stones from the existing school came from in the late 1800s," said Carson.

Carson has one of the few stone saws in the country. With it, his team is able to cut the thousands of tons of stone needed for the expansion with almost laser precision.

"The stone gets dug out of the earth in a big hole, gets put in and cut into 10,000 pound blocks and gets loafed out, kind of like a loaf of bread gets sliced up. From there we basically go by the direction of the architects and engineers who tell us how to do the cuts and fabrications. They give us cad drawings and we put them into the stone saws and the saws do all the heavy lifting," explained Carson.

Carson said they still have hundreds of stone pieces to make to complete the project.

The school expansion is scheduled to be completed in February of 2019.