Indy Star story re 86th and Moore Rd

Monday, April 18, 2005

Schools to seek land elsewhere
Board diverts its attention away from 86th and Moore Road.
By Howard Smulevitz
Star correspondent
April 16, 2005
Residents applauded the announcement that the Pike Township School Board will not buy property at 86th Street and Moore Road.
Although the board obtained appraisals for 38 acres along Moore Road, it did not make a formal offer to property owners and decided in February to continue discussing possible land acquisition.
Thursday, the board received a copy of a letter from the attorney for owners of at least some of the land. The attorney’s letter, sent to the school district’s real estate broker, said the owners “have opted to sell (parcels at 8796 Moore Road and 7220 West 88th Street ) to a party other than the school board.”
A spokesman for Historic Traders Point Association argued why the board should look elsewhere in the township for land for a future school.
Board secretary Alicia Ramsey, who presided in the absence of the president and vice president, told the 40 residents present they had nothing to worry about, and applause broke out.
Mark Dollase, of the Indiana Historic Preservation Commission, said the land could be declared a rural historic preservation area because of landmarks dating to American Indian burial mounds and population from the 19th century.
Dollase said a school on the land would harm the plan to declare it a historic site.
Steve Jones, a professor of finance at the Indianapolis campus of Indiana University Kelley School of Business, told the board it should be cautious about building to meet “spikes in enrollment instead of plateaus.”
Jones said an enrollment spike already may have subsided, and that enrollment at most Pike schools is within capacity.
Board member Nancy Poore said Jones’ definition of school capacity is too narrow.
“There are classrooms that are not configured to their capacity” and are crowded, she said.
Poore said 33 fifth-graders in a classroom is not the ideal capacity that a parent seeks, and that the School Board is responsible for considering beyond numbers.
Superintendent Nathaniel Jones said after the meeting that the search for property is for the future, not necessarily immediate construction.
“I have appointed a Superintendent’s Blue Ribbon Committee to look at our future development for 10, 20, 30 years,” he said.
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About Ross Reller

I am pleased you have expressed interest in learning more about the historic Traders Point area in Indianapolis, Indiana. From 1980 to 1982 I was employed in the PR department at Conner Prairie Museum in Hamilton County. There I learned about William Conner, an important figure in Indiana's pioneer days. A decade later I became interested in the history of the Traders Point area and was surprised to learn that William Conner had been the first land owner in the area. In 1823 he acquired, through the Federal land office in Brookville, a patent for an 80 acre tract carved by Eagle Creek and an Indian trail that was about to be named the first toll roadway through the township (Lafayette Road). Thirty years later a village took shape within this tract. A grain mill on the creek, houses, churches, stores, restaurants, and two gas stations would take shape here in the creek valley hamlet of Traders Point. By 1962 all improvements (except a farmer's co-op) had been removed by the Indianapolis Flood Control Board to make way for Interstate 65 and a new reservoir. This blog is dedicated to preserving evidence of this historic area but I will occasionally use it to discuss related topics. To activate this follow, simply click the confirm button below. If you don't want to follow, ignore this message and we'll never bother you again. I am also a member of the Old Pleasant Hill Cemetery, a non profit association still selling burial plots for those who would like to spend all eternity in Traders Point, and I am an officer in the Pike Township Historical Society and the Traders Point Association of Neighborhoods.
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