IPS: Say YES to Herron and Purdue High Schools at BRHS!

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Our community feels strongly that Purdue Polytechnic and Herron High Schools would be an ideal fit for families in Broad Ripple, MidTown, and northern Indianapolis. Broad Ripple High School's recent closing, while difficult, could be turned into a wonderful neighborhood asset for the benefit of all. There was a market rate deal on the table from both of these schools (as IPS Innovation partners) that was ignored because of reasons other than educating our kids. Join us in asking the IPS Board to reconsider by signing this petition. There is lot of information below, including contact information for the IPS Board. 

Want to do more? Email IPS School Board Commissioners here and call 317.226.4418 

Michael O'Connor,  President  OConnorMB@myips.org

Venita Moore, Vice President  moorevj@myips.org

Elizabeth Gore, Secretary  goree@myips.org

Mary Ann Sullivan, At-Large  SullivMA@myips.org

Kelly Bentley, District 3  bentleyk@myips.org

Diane Arnold, District 4  arnoldd@myips.org

Dorene Hoops, District 5  Hoopsd@myips.org

Read this article published by the Indy Star:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.indystar.com/amp/698737002

Letter from Councillor Colleen Fanning and the BRVA:

To All Concerned:

As both the Executive Director of the Broad Ripple Village Association and District 2’s City-County Councilor, I firmly believe that the future of Broad Ripple High School is paramount to the continuing economic prosperity and community stabilization of Midtown.

 When asked directly by IPS, our community spoke with a unified voice in favor of the parcel continuing its use as a school. Anyone familiar with Broad Ripple knows that it is rare for a majority of our citizens to agree on anything, let alone with such an emphatic majority. We feel as if a strong community high school in Broad Ripple will enrich the district to such an extent that it will be an even stronger net financial donor to Indianapolis, Marion County, and the state.

This is an incredible opportunity for all stakeholders, and the solution is already before us. Purdue Polytechnic High School and Herron High School have expressed interest in working together to create two non-traditional, complementary high school models that could transform Broad Ripple and the greater north side of Indianapolis. The proposal they submittedto IPS included several different financial arrangements. All gave IPS market-rate payment for the parcel while allowing IPS to keep the asset on their balance sheet with potential for more revenue opportunity.

As IPS Innovation Schools, both PPHS and HHS would contribute to IPS’s success, attracting new public school students from surrounding townships and counties. Currently IPS serves only a small percentage of students ages 15-19 in the district. Having two unique school options available in Broad Ripple would greatly increase their capture rate not only in the district, but also from surrounding townships and private schools. Families would stay in the district rather than flee to the townships or suburbs when fearful of—or shut-out by—the lottery system. Going into a referendum, IPS could prove they are a future-facing organization that prioritizes success over optics and collaboration over competition. They could show the public that they are fiscally responsible by realizing financial gain from an existing asset while giving the community what it needs.

I am concerned that it seems that despite this potential, Broad Ripple High School’s future is on hold. The community will not support a private sale with a non-scholastic use. Since rezoning will be required for any non-scholastic use on even a portion of the parcel, a private sale will be tied up for years whiledevelopers navigate the Broad Ripple Village Association and Indianapolis land use processes. In this case those processes will be fraught with hostility.

There is little chance of the BRVA supporting such rezoning in the face of contrary community opinion. Since I would support my neighborhood and district by opposing such an effort, I am confident that rezoning would fail at the Council level should it make it that far. In the meantime, a 16-acre parcel in walking distance of opioid-rich Ravenswood would sit vacant: a public safety and health liability instead of a community asset.

I fervently want IPS to succeed. One could argue that PPHS and HHS should bide their time until they can purchase the school for $1 according to state statute. After all, taxpayers have already paid once for the property and should not be made to pay twice. Developers will be wary of this option, impacting the market value of the parcel. The taxpayers deserve a strong voice in what happens to their public asset, and they have spoken. The solution happens to be a win for all, and within reach of realization. Both Purdue and Herron are willing to work with IPS to make sure that the terms of any deal are mutually beneficial and workable for all. Ignoring this opportunity sends the message that the community’s input is of little consequence. It is my duty—in both of my roles—to advocate for the best interest of my neighborhood and district. A successful result for our community is the priority, and I look forward to any cooperative efforts in the immediate future.

Best Regards,

​​​​​​Colleen Fanning

​​​​​​Indy Councillor, District 2

Executive Director, BRVA

 

 

 



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