Center Grove Community Schools breaks ground on Walnut Grove Elementary

School officials and developer Lancer + Beebe, LLC, break ground on Walnut Grove Elementary. *Photos by Nicole Davis
Superintendent Rich Arkanoff, center, says August 2019, when the new school opens, cannot come soon enough.

Center Grove Community School Corporation will have a new elementary school open its doors in August 2019. Celebrating the groundbreaking of Walnut Grove Elementary on Oct. 10, school officials shared of the modern and functional features that will go into the facility.

“We’re excited to move forward on this project,” said Dr. Rich Arkanoff, superintendent, at the groundbreaking. “Our White River Township community is growing and thriving. With that growth comes students. As of today, we are full in all of our elementaries except for one classroom. We have portables around two of our schools, so as you can imagine, August of 2019 cannot get here soon enough.”

The two-story school, designed by Lancer + Beebe, LLC, will be constructed on the 57.5-acre property owned by the corporation on N. 450 West, approximately one mile north of State Road 144 in Bargersville.

The school will feature a solar array, which will not only make the facility more energy efficient, but allow students to look at the power usage and use that data in educational lessons. Walnut Grove will be themed around the tree of its namesake. The exterior of the school will feature a entry canopy, with walnut trees leading to the entrance. Inside, the schools is split into three wings: K through first grades, second and third grades and fourth and fifth grades. Each wing will have a color scheme that ties into features of a walnut tree such as green for grades K – one, representing spring and the colors of the tree’s leaves. Each wing will also feature hearth room space for collaborative learning.

Kent Gross, a neighbor of the Walnut Grove Elementary property, speaks with the soon-to-be first principal, Brian Procter.

“The design is phenomenal,” said Brian Proctor, current principal of North Grove Elementary who will serve as the first principal of Walnut Grove. “There are some neat features to this building that I think will set the standard, like the solar array field that’s not common on an elementary property, or the hearth spaces and learning lab spaces inside. Those are really unique.”

He continued, “When you stop to look at the finer details of the building, it really makes you value the facilities that we have in Center Grove. The district has done an unbelievable job of maintaining facilities that are student focused and progressive. This process has taught me to listen to the ideas of everyone and understand we’re all in this together. We all have one purpose and our purpose is to make sure Center Grove is the best it can be. It starts with facilities and you pour in the students and their families.”