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Brownsburg proposes $100 million school expansion without tax hike

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Brownsburg High School, according to some parents, is bursting at the seams and is barely able to accommodate the town’s booming population.

Some relief may be on the way.

After a vicious vote to raise taxes in Brownsburg to pay for a school expansion failed in 2015, there will be no vote and no tax hike this year, but schools will get the relief they’ve been waiting for.

“What other town do you drive into where every street sign is purple with a bulldog on it?” said Brownsburg parent Kirk LeBlanc.

Pride for the Brownsburg Bulldogs is everywhere. Parents like LeBlanc say it’s time that pride turned into action.

“Some of the kids in the elementary schools go to schools in pods. The high school’s so large population wise that roughly 200 freshmen will have to go back to the middle school for their freshman classes, they’re going to have to be bussed over there,” he said.

LeBlanc has three kids in Brownsburg schools. He’s heard the horror stories: students packed like sardines into a high school bursting at its seams and portable classrooms at elementary schools, not big enough for the town they serve.

“From a business standpoint, whenever I’m trying to hire a new employee, one of the first questions they ask is how are their schools? How am I supposed to answer that?” said LeBlanc.

Some relief though may be coming in the form of a $100 million proposal to upgrade town schools. In the proposal, Brownsburg High School would get a major addition, and a brand new elementary school would be built to handle the town’s rapidly growing population. All of this would be done without a tax hike.

“A lot of people think, wow this is crazy, you guys are pretty crafty to have figured this out, I wish we were that smart,” said Brownsburg School Board President, Adam Brower.

Instead of raising taxes, Brownsburg refinanced and paid off its debt sooner, freeing up millions to make much needed additions to town schools.

Brownsburg is one of the fastest growing towns in the state. But it hasn’t had a major school addition built in decades.

“We were third in the state in ISTEP scores and all of our schools are four star schools this year so it’s an attractive place to be,” said Brower.

The School Board will hear public opinion on the proposal at their next June meeting and they will vote on it at their July meeting. If it passes, construction will begin in June 2017.

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