GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Center Grove Community School Corporation is undergoing major renovations. The upgrades and add-on’s are costing the district millions of dollars. School leaders say it’s required to keep up with the high demand of enrollment.
If you take a look inside the swimming facility at the high school, you’ll notice there’s duct tape holding some parts of the floor together. School leaders say that’s one of many reasons why the district needs to spend millions.
Dr. Jeffry Henderson, the Principal at Center Grove High School says the corporation has also outgrown the facility, as all grades use the pool and so does the community. Superintendent Richard Arkanoff says it seems like every year the district has another major project.
“We needed to decide to renovate it because it was due, or do we move it?” said Arkanoff.
Center Grove schools are going $45 million in debt to pay for a new natatorium facility and classroom renovations. The money will be payed back by the district over the next several years.
“We have capacity in our bonding of what we can afford without increasing taxes to be able to do renovations. We’ve done that now for the last 10 years,” explained Arkanoff. “We’re able to borrow that money for this next renovation without increasing local property taxes.”
Center Grove school leaders say the changes are needed to remain a step ahead of the increasing enrollment. Arkanoff says there’s about 100 new students enrolling each year.
$23 million of the total cost will go to transform an open parking lot on the schools property into the new swimming facility. It will include an Olympic-sized swimming pool and more space for seating.
“It was also have a therapy pool for our students with disabilities, our students with injuries, it will have expanded locker room space and additional classrooms,” said Arkanoff.
Classrooms will also get new carpet, lighting and updated, modern furniture. Safety improvements like new barriers, door monitors and cameras are also on the list.
“From secure points of entry to additional monitoring, to quicker response times, all of those things added together really is beneficial,” said Henderson.
Arkanoff added, “Different types of lock down and safety features that will help us deter or prevent or react quickly
to an emergency.”
It’s a long checklist with a big price tag, that school leaders think will have a long-lasting impact.
“It’s great to have these new spaces for kids to excel at programs they thoroughly enjoy,” said Henderson.
Once the construction of the natatorium is complete, then the school will begin to turn the old pool space into classrooms and a gallery for art students.
This November, the Center Grove schools’ operational referendum is up for vote. The money would be used to add more police officers on staff and mental health supporters for students.