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Center Grove High School will get new $10 million student center

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — After a lengthy petition battle, Tuesday the numbers showed that Center Grove High School will be getting a new $10 million student center.

The community came out passionately both for and against the project, with both sides gathering signatures for petitions.

Whoever got the most signatures would win.

Those in favor won by about 1,000 signatures.

“It’s great news for the community, great news for the school district,” Center Grove Parent Billy Bemis said.

Bemis is excited that his kids’ school will be getting an addition, a multi-purpose student activity center.

“District-wide Center Grove just does not have that big open event space to utilize, so that will probably open some doors that we’re not aware of currently,” he said.

Bemis led a petition drive to get signatures for the building.

“I’m just really thrilled for the community, they worked so hard for this, it’s just a wonderful thing,” Center Grove Superintendent Dr. Rich Arkanoff said.

Arkanoff said the district desperately needed the additional indoor space.

“Just recently we’ve had some of our varsity teams have to cancel their practices because they didn’t have space available to them because of the weather conditions,” he said.

He said some people opposed the project because they thought it’d just be used for sports, which he said is a misconception.

“We’ll also be able to use it for events like dances for the kids and science competitions,” he said.

Opponent Frank Rossa still doesn’t think it’s a good use of taxpayer dollars.

“I just thought it was excessive,” Rossa said, “There’s much better things I think they could do with the money.”

He spent months organizing volunteers to petition against it and is disappointed.

“My initial gut response is that if we had more people, it would have been in our favor,” he said.

Now that the signatures are all counted, the architects will begin finalizing the project and then the school will get bids on the work.

The goal is to have the building done by 2017.