broad ripple high indy WRTV-TV
Broad Ripple is one of 3 high schools in Indianapolis that would close under a newly disclosed proposal.

Indianapolis district announces plan to close 3 high schools

Reducing the number of high schools to 4 would enable the district to operate more efficiently.

In an effort to use its facilities more efficiently, the Indianapolis (Ind.) district wants to close three of its high schools at end of the 2017-18.

WRTV-TV reports that the proposal unveiled Wednesday calls for the district to convert Arlington and Northwest high schools to middle schools and shutter Broad Ripple High School. The changes are expected to save the district $7 million annually. 

The school board is expected to decide on the proposal in September.

The recommended facilities changes comes after a task force report concluded that most of the district's high schools were well below capacity. The report states that since reaching a peak enrollment of 109,000 students in 1967, the Indianapolis public school system has seen students numbers drop to about 30,000.

"Since the peak high school facility footprint in 1968, the district has closed only one facility," the task force report says.

The task force initially recommended closing all but two high schools, but Indianapolis Superintendent Lewis Ferebee says that keeping four high schools open will enable the district to offer enhanced academic programs and to keep students' transportation time under an hour. 

The high schools that would remain open are Arsenal TechCrispus AttucksShortridge and Washington.  

The district has estimated that selling the Broad Ripple High property, which is situated in a vibrant business corridor, could generate $6 million to $8 million.

If approved, the facilities overhaul would go into effect in 2018-19 school year. 

The Indianapolis district also is keeping an eye on Howe and Manuel high schools, which now are under state control. If the operator overseeing those schools returns the buildings to the Indianapolis, the district intends to shut them down.

The district plans to hold community meetings in the affected neighborhoods in July and August. 

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