Broad Ripple High School hosts final winter homecoming, alumni reflect on memories

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Just months away from closing its doors for good, Broad Ripple High School hosted its final winter homecoming basketball event Saturday night.

Alumni and students are taking time to reflect on the school’s impact as they deal with the school board’s decision to sell the property at the end of the school year.

Players hit the hardwood inside the gym and the stands were filled with alumni who cherish the familiar scene.

“A lot of memories in this place,” said James Turner, who attended Broad Ripple and now his kids do, too.

Each basket and spirited moment comes with bittersweet feelings for the people we talked to at the game.

“It saddens me that they’re going to shut this gym down, this gym is not going to be here,” said Ieesha Turner. “So much history is here and it’s going away.”

Back in September, the Indianapolis Public Schools board of trustees voted to approve a plan that will leave the district four high schools instead of seven. Under the approved plan, Arlington and Northwest high schools will be converted into middle schools and Broad Ripple High School will be sold. John Marshall Middle School and two administrative buildings will also be sold.

IPS leaders pointed to declining enrollment and financial troubles as reasons for the decision.

“I really can’t imagine not coming back to Broad Ripple after the year’s over,” Ieesha Turner said.

For now, current and former students hold on the the community they created within the school walls.

“It’s tradition, family,” James Turner said. “It meant success, it meant dedication. Not only was it school, it was a home away from home.”

As the clock counts down to when they must say goodbye to their school, those who walked the halls say their ties go beyond nights spent cheering on the team.

“The Broad Ripple family will always remain a family,” said Norma Cox Dartas. “We just bond together over the experience we had here. We are, indeed, rockets for life.”

Still no word on who may buy the Broad Ripple High School property. IPS estimates the sale could bring in $6 to $8 million.

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