INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The future of the Broad Ripple High School building is full of questions after the Indiana Charter School Board wrapped up a hearing Tuesday on a nonprofit’s plans to open a charter school in the building.
Indianapolis Public Schools plans to close the high school this summer.
The state charter board postponed its vote Tuesday on whether to grant the HIM by HER Foundation a charter school license. The board plans to meet again in November because, Tuesday, the board said it didn’t have enough information to vote.
HIM by HER is a nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk kids, led by an IMPD detective and Broad Ripple HS graduate named Harry Dunn.
The group said they have the support of former Indiana Pacers player and Broad Ripple star George Hill, as well as former Indianapolis Colts standout Robert Mathis. According to the group, Hill and Mathis are interested in helping the potential school with recruiting.
If the board approves HIM by HER’s license, the group will not be bound to the Broad Ripple HS building. They’ll enter a bidding a process and organizers said they’re also interested in the Forrest Manor and John Marshall buildings.
Detective Dunn said the school can help kids stay away from street violence.
“When I look at a parent who has lost their child, and they’re looking at me, asking what it is that I can do,” Dunn said. “I can do more than try to solve the crime. I can try to solve his sister’s or his brother’s life and destiny.”
Janet Rummel of the state board said HIM by HER’s proposal was “substandard in terms of quality and attention to detail” and “troubling.” She expressed concerns over the group’s budget figures.
Broad Ripple HS is also the alma mater of David Letterman.
IPS said it plans to sell the building for its maximum value to help close the district’s budget deficit.
The district initially said it hopes to sell the building for millions.
A state law says, in certain situations, charter schools can lease vacant school buildings for only $1. However, IPS has not said whether they’ll keep the building vacant before the sale or occupy it in some capacity.
HIM by HER hopes to open the new school in 2020.