WESTFIELD, Ind.— Westfield Washington Schools is planning an expansion with a recent purchase of over 96 acres of land off State Road 32.
“One of the fastest growing districts in Indiana, we just have to be prepared for future building sites and space that we will need to grow,” said Brian Tomamichel, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations for Westfield Washington Schools.
The district is purchasing 96 and a half acres of land on the northeast corner of Centennial Road and State Road 32.
“As we look at our enrollment numbers and we are growing, we knew we would need a second site for a middle school,” Tomamichel said.
The land costs $60,000 an acre, bringing the price tag to more than $5.7 million. Tomamichel said the tax rate won’t be affected.
“We will have to do a bond issuance to purchase the land with that,” Tomamichel said. “We have a declining tax rate as a whole over the last several years in the district that we can accomplish this purchase, and even further building projects without raising taxes and Westfield.”
One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said the middle school and high school are bursting at the seams with students. The woman said she trusts the district made the right call purchasing land at this time, since the price is going up in Hamilton County.
Another parent said they weren’t happy about the purchase, citing environmental concerns.
In the meantime, the district is waiting to learn if it can build on the land moving forward.
“Our sight right now is focused long-term on a future middle school,” Tomamichel said. “Then it has spacing for a future elementary school. Not necessarily to be built immediately as we work through that but it has a capacity as we continue to grow that we have future sites as well.”
The district is working with the city to develop the future of Westfield.
“It’s an exciting time,” Tomamichel said. “People want to be here. It’s a great community, a great school community. We have great schools.”
The district is hosting a neighborhood meeting on Jan. 23 to share more about the future plans and for parents to ask questions. It will be introduced at the Westfield Plan Commission meeting on Feb. 6.