Seems like it’s about more than space

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By Dan Domsic
When I went through high school, a handful of enriched or advanced placement classes were available to help prepare students and maybe even earn a few college credits.

There was an advanced English course that was available all four years, and, of course, I ate that up. I even tried my hand at AP Bio, muddling through one of the toughest classes I’ve ever taken. And then there were all the enriched math classes I had the pleasure of taking. Yes, I’m being incredibly sarcastic about that last academic endeavor.

A journalist that enjoys messing with numbers? Good luck finding one of those.

I always thought it was unfair that peers who went to different schools had the opportunity to take a full course load of advanced classes. Yes, I was that nerdy.

So, now, as information flows about the senior academies project, it’s evident that Fishers has a decision to make about high school education.

HSE School District Supt. Dr. Brian Smith bills the new project as a necessity for space. He and CFO Mike Reuter say that if the academies don’t become a reality, more portable classrooms will.

But, what they’re doing is so much more. The senior academies add space at HSEHS and FHS, change how classrooms are set up and give students a chance to earn college credits – and as Smith sells it – maybe even knock a year off of their time in undergrad.

The big question is whether parents will buy it and vote yes on a May 7 referendum and approve funding for the $95-million project.

I’m trying to pay as much attention as I can to how this will impact taxpayers, and when I can, I will report on that.

But for now, I’m curious to know whether there is anyone out there that doesn’t like the idea. Smith has said building a new high school altogether would cost $120 million.

Unlike the recent town vs. city referendum, it seems there’s less history and defined sides – unless you count other school-related referendums Fishers has passed during the past few years.

In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

As always, visit me at my coffee hours at Hearthstone Coffee House & Pub from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays. I recently set up a new Twitter handle – @FishersEditor. Follow me for insight on what I’m working on throughout the week.


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