Broad Ripple High School closing ends decades of hard work and history

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Of the three IPS schools closing, the loss of Broad Ripple High School may leave the biggest impact, given its close connection to the community and a lot of famous alumni.

The announcement that the historic high school is closing is drawing opposing views from graduates of the school; some who say IPS made the right call, while others still think it didn’t have to be this way.

“There were so many great kids there,” said Cynnie Halsmer, who graduated from Broad Ripple High School. “They came from all over the city, but they were very talented and very dedicated.”

You might say Halsmer has Broad Ripple High School in her blood: her mom went there, she and her four siblings went there, and so did her five kids. In fact, her son John got married on the football field.

“It was just sad,” said Halsmer, “I sort of knew it was going to happen, but it’s just sad to think of all the history.”

IPS leadership said it was difficult to keep students there because it’s on the edge of the district and also said it made financial sense to close the school. Halsmer thinks one factor is neighborhood parents opting to send their kids to other high schools.

“That’s what bothers me,” said Halsmer, “is that people would just drive past and go to other schools when there’s a perfectly good school right there.”

But other graduates say closing the school is what needed to happen.

“I think IPS did the right thing,” said Ted Miller. “If you really look into it, I think they have done the right thing, [but] it’s just sad.”

Miller graduated from the school in 1987 and owns Brugge Brasserie in Broad Ripple. As a business owner, he’d also like to know what happens next.

“That’s the big question, what’s going to go there?” asked Miller, “and that’s up in the air right now, nobody has said anything.”

It’s not the end most graduates are happy with, given some of the names that came out of this school like former Mayor Steve Goldsmith, basketball star George Hill, and Indiana’s very own David Letterman.

“Certainly emotionally it’s kind of sad to see our school go away,” said Miller.

Of the three schools closing this is the only one that IPS is looking to sell. Their hope is that they can get somewhere between $6 million and $8 million for the property. However, there is no word yet on when that process will start.