While the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA) understands the IPS recommendation to close BRHS, we believe that as the district and its board evaluate options for future use of the school property, it is essential that the facility continues to be used for public education purposes.
Here are three reasons to keep in mind as this process moves forward.
1. Broad Ripple possesses a long-standing tradition of neighborhood schools, and it is imperative for area residents to have public school options for their children.
Broad Ripple High School was first established in 1886 and became IPS’ fourth high school in 1923. It has provided a sense of identity and community for more than 130 years. A number of Broad Ripple High School alumni have stayed in or returned to the village to shape the community and grow its businesses.
Former Indiana Pacer and Broad Ripple High School alumnus George Hill sent a Tweet immediately after the closing was announced asking for investors to help bring the school back. Hill and other alumni consistently mention their deep connection to the Broad Ripple community stemming from their time in school. Such bonds provide the roots for a community’s continued growth.
2. Maintaining a high school within village boundaries will increase resident retention and raise the profile of Broad Ripple among potential new residents moving to the Indianapolis area.
Yes, boutiques and coffee shops are wonderful amenities, but schools are often the primary decision factor for families choosing a home or neighborhood. Given the desirable location of the facility, surrounded by several amazing arts and cultural organizations, the opportunities for unique collaboration are endless.
Broad Ripple is certainly one of Indianapolis’ best community success stories. For more than a century, the neighborhood has thrived while constantly evolving to best serve the needs of residents. However, without a viable, neighborhood-based high school, Broad Ripple’s long-lasting community development and sustainability are unachievable.
3. A neighborhood school is an essential part of Broad Ripple’s infrastructure and must serve as a hub for learning and community growth.
It is particularly important to preserve a school on this parcel as a hub for education, art and community. Throughout its 130-year existence, Broad Ripple High School has opened its doors to the community and invited it in for special events, performances, sporting events and community gathering. Maintaining a high school in Broad Ripple creates a diverse mix of educational, business and entertainment offerings throughout the village.
The BRVA believes strongly in community input and involvement throughout this process. We’ve heard others call for a community task force to be formed and are very supportive of that idea. Open communication and meaningful collaboration will lead to the best solution for all involved.
The BRVA communicated our position at the IPS board of school commissioners meeting, which was held at Broad Ripple Magnet High School on Tuesday, July 18, 2017.