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Westfield starts new rugby field, expansion of early learning center

Westfield starts new rugby field, expansion of early learning center

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — As school winds down for the year, Westfield Washington Schools officials on Tuesday were busy with two new construction projects.

One will expand the Virginia Wood Early Learning Center. Program Coordinator Marci Derado said the center is at capacity two years after opening. “Right now, we have between 45 and 50 families that are on our waitlist, and we field calls everyday from families begging to have child care.”

The expansion will include 13 new classrooms, along with indoor and outdoor play areas.

“We actually were able to get some data this year, and it shows us that children who were in our program last year and then moved onto kindergarten performed much higher than their typical peer in the basic test they give in kindergarten,” Derado said.

Across from the learning center, a company that specializes in putting turf on rugby fields will help convert an empty field.

Although rugby is not a sanctioned sport in Indiana high schools, its popularity has caught on.

Parent Erika Strahm said supporters are in the process of bringing youth rugby to Westfield. “Rugby is one of the fastest-growing sports nationwide, and I think part of that is the ability to expand and offer more opportunity for children.”

Assistant Superintendent Brian Tomamichel said both projects are needed as the district added 1,300 students in the past three years. “Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be breaking ground on two new elementary schools and a brand new middle school.”

The new child care center and rugby fields will be ready for the 2025-2026 school year. The construction projects will have no impact on the tax rate.

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