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IndyStar | The Indianapolis Star

Westfield Washington Schools looks to buy more land

By Rachel Fradette, Indianapolis Star,

2023-03-15
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Westfield Washington Schools is seeking to purchase even more land in western Westfield, a plot that neighbors the site the district already acquired to build schools.

The family-owned land, an additional 98 acres, is located on State Road 32, next to the 96 acres the district recently acquired at the northeast corner of Centennial Road and State Road 32. The school district plans to build a middle school on that land this fall.

City approves 96 acres:Westfield Washington moves one step closer to new schools after City Council stamp

“Once this is completed … the district will own roughly 200 congruent acres on U.S. 32 and Centennial and longterm, down the road Towne Road will also intersect these properties as well,” Brian Tomamichel, assistant superintendent and chief financial officer for the school district, said. “We believe this is extremely valuable real estate for the school system as we continue to grow.”

The school board granted permission for district officials to sign off on the land once the purchase is finalized this month.

The land, which is currently zoned for agriculture, is priced at $62,000 per acre, for a total of about $6 million, Tomamichel said at the school board’s Tuesday meeting.

The district also plans to purchase two homes on the land near Centennial Road to complete the acquisition, Tomamichel said.

Land will help 'Destination Westfield'

With these land purchases, school district officials also shared an update on the curriculum plans for “Destination Westfield”.

Under the district’s growth plan, schools will eventually undergo a “rebalancing” of grades once the new schools are built.

What's Destination Westfield?Westfield Washington is outgrowing its schools; the district has a plan to fix that

Currently fifth and sixth graders attend Westfield Intermediate School and move to Westfield Middle school for seventh and eighth grade.

The district's plan will have fifth grade students join kindergarten through fourth grade in elementary school buildings while sixth grade students will move up to middle school.

To help prepare for the change, the district will start conversations with teachers and research successful middle schools, said John Atha, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

Teachers and district officials will meet monthly to discuss the transition for students, what resources they need and what's being taught in the classroom.

"We want to continue to work with our kiddos now, but we want to also make sure that we're planning for the future," Atha said.

Rachel Fradette is a suburban education reporter at IndyStar. Contact her at rfradette@indystar.com or follow her on Twitter at @Rachel_Fradette.

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