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Broad Ripple family ‘devastated’ by plan to sell high school

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis Public Schools recommendation to sell Broad Ripple High School is being met with early opposition from students and alumni.

The school, established in 1886, is the alma mater of former late-night host David Letterman and a string of pro athletes. The Turner family doesn’t want the story of the Broad Ripple High School Rockets to end any time soon.

“Being a Rocket is just like life in our house,” sophomore Evan Turner said.

Evan and his sister Eryn, both basketball players, just finished their freshman year at Broad Ripple. Their dad, James, graduated in 1994.

“I was planning on staying at Broad Ripple until my senior year,” Eryn said. “It runs in the family.”

Their family tradition is over if the IPS school board approves a plan to sell the school and close it for the 2018-2019 school year. The board will vote in September.

The Turner kids would be forced to choose another IPS school for their junior year. It’s a choice they don’t want to make.

“My reaction is devastated. I’m thinking of the kids in the community,” James said. “I think the decision they made to close the school was not in the best interest of the kids and more in the best interest of dollars.”

IPS administrators say their plan to operate just four high schools would save $7 million dollars every year. They plan to pour the money into the remaining schools.

An IPS spokesperson said the district will decide any personnel changes after the board votes in September. The district declined our request for an on-camera interview Wednesday.

The Turners say they’ve already developed a bond with their teammates and coaches.

“Being a Rocket is just inspirational,” Evan said. “It makes you want to try your best. Academics, sports, any career. It makes you want to go for the best.”

The Turners said they plan on speaking up at school board meetings in the coming months.

IPS is planning public meetings at each of the affected schools for July and August. Administrators hope to sell the property for $6 million to $8 million dollars.

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