Center Grove unveils design and groundbreaking plans for sixth elementary school

CENTER GROVE, Ind. -- The Trojans are expanding and pushing south. The Center Grove School Corporation has unveiled plans for the groundbreaking and design of its much anticipated sixth elementary school, Walnut Grove Elementary. 

The new school will sit the farthest south in the district, but in close proximity to Maple Grove Elementary.  Walnut Grove will be located on North 450 West in Bargersville which is about a half mile south of SR 144.  While Maple Grove is located just northeast of that location off Whiteland Rd. 

The new elementary school comes as the district prepares for an influx of new students and families on the south tip of the district with several new subdivisions already being built. 

For the last three years, Center Grove has set a record for the number of kindergarten enrollments. They have also seen an increase in the number of elementary students moving into existing neighborhoods. Elementary enrollment is projected to surpass 4,000 at the start of the 2019-2020 school. That number is just 30 students below the maximum ideal capacity in each elementary school.

Center Grove has managed to keep average class sizes at the elementary schools within the ideal ranges identified by the school board by adding several new teachers. But they can only manage class sizes if rooms are available. Until Walnut Grove opens, portable classrooms will be added to elementary schools to increase the number of students each building can accommodate.

West Grove Elementary School closed back in the end of the 2009-2010 school year.  The building at the Smith Valley Rd. location was eventually sold to Southland Community Church.  The district was forced to redistrict as population continued to grow in the south end of the district. 

The process to plan, finance, design and build the new school will take about 30 months.  Because no remonstrance was filed against the project, it is moving forward.  School officials expect Walnut Grove to open by August of 2019.

The school will feature 21st Century learning spaces that will provide flexibility for learning and classroom discussion.  A solar array will be installed to cut down on energy costs as well as an environmentally-friendly prairie for the grounds. 

Groundbreaking for the school will take place on Tuesday, October 10 at 10 a.m.

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