MARION COUNTY, Ind. – It’s back to school season and students in Washington Township will be stepping foot in two brand new elementary schools.
Clearwater Elementary and Willow Lake Elementary are opening Thursday. The district focused on modern technology and design to help prepare students for the future.
The schools came out of a referendum voted on by the Washington Township community in November of 2016. They have a combine price tag of $45.7 million. Both were finished on time and on budget.
‘We are going to open the doors to over 650 students with a very diverse background. We’re also going to be the first dual language school in Washington township. We have 2 teachers coming from Ecuador to serve those classrooms,” Willow Lake Elementary School Principal Brittney Brown said.
There are separate parent pick-up and drop-off lanes to keep cars off the main roads. The buildings have ‘event lobbies’ which the district says are centrally located for activities.
Safety was another big focus. The district says the front and back entrance have special glass that can’t be shot or kicked.
“In order to enter our building they’ll have to be buzzed into our front door, where they’ll have to be checked in with office staff and in order to come into our learning space they’ll also have to be buzzed in, so it’s a two-way security model to even get into our learning space to see our students,” Brown said.
The schools are holding ribbon cuttings this week. The first is Tuesday evening at Clearwater Elementary at 5 p.m. The second is at Willow Lake Elementary at 5 p.m. Wednesday evening.