TSC preps land for future use south of Harrison High
Tippecanoe School Corp.’s rezoning plan advances for nearly 99 acres north of West Lafayette, though district isn’t committing to what will be there, yet
Sponsorship help comes today from the Haan Museum. “Holidays at the Haan,” now through Dec. 30, is a wonderful opportunity for families and individuals to immerse themselves in the holiday spirit and enjoy a festive atmosphere. Marvel at beautifully decorated holiday trees, each with a unique theme and style. Enjoy the charm of model trains and bask in the warmth glow of twinkling holiday lights. Come to admire the collections of holiday ornaments from various cultures and explore the diversity of holiday traditions from around the world. The museum is a magical place to visit during the holiday season. Discover a place to create lasting memories and spend quality time together with loved ones during the holiday season. For daily times, go to: www.thehaan.org
Programming note: Just a reminder today that there will be no Tim’s Picks delivery today. Our man Tim Brouk has the week off. He’ll be back next Thursday, Dec. 28. (I’ll let Tim know you were asking about him.)
Otherwise, here’s a handful of notes for this, the shortest day of the year.
TSC REZONING PLAN MOVES AHEAD: Tippecanoe School Corp. isn’t wasting much time getting ground it picked up in October from Tippecanoe County ready for a new school use, of some sort.
Not that TSC is saying what will happen on nearly 99 acres near the northeast corner of County Roads 50 West and 500 North, based on a rezoning plan recommended Wednesday evening by the Area Plan Commission.
Mark DeYoung, counsel for TSC, said a rezoning request, moving the acreage from agricultural uses to single-family housing, sets up the land for school facilities in a district that continues to grow – and in a part of Tippecanoe County that has seen a crush of housing development.
“I expect some may be disappointed that I don’t come here with a site plan and a drawing and engineering study that shows exactly what we’re going to do,” DeYoung told the APC members.
TSC agreed two months ago to buy the land north of West Lafayette for $1.85 million from Tippecanoe County commissioners. DeYoung said the TSC board wasn’t that far along to say what’s next for the land that wraps around Tippecanoe Villa, a county home, south of Harrison High School. The rezoning would open TSC to any number of school facilities, including classrooms and athletic uses.
Ashutosh Katari, who lives in a nearby neighborhood, encouraged the APC members to consider that there were no specific plans for the area and that neighbors had concerns about whether the rezoning would open the door to multi-family residential uses.
DeYoung said that schools aren’t allowed in agricultural districts and that TSC purposely selected the lightest residential zoning designation possible that would clear the way for school uses. He said there were no plans for high-density housing on the land.
“I have a board and superintendent at the school corporation that are always hungry for more land, so that they can decide later what to do with it in terms of meeting the demands of school,” DeYoung said. “This opens options to us on the northwest side of the county that we have hoped for for a long time.”
TSC has the 11th largest enrollment among Indiana school districts. The district has three schools – Harrison, Battle Ground Middle School and Burnett Creek Elementary – near the intersection of 50 West and 600 North, within a mile north of the site up for rezoning. TSC also is in the midst of an expansion of its Klondike Elementary and Middle School campus, just west of West Lafayette.
The APC voted unanimously to recommend the rezoning request. Tippecanoe County commissioners are expected to make a final decision at their Jan. 2 meeting.
HOMELESS PERSON’S MEMORIAL MARKED THURSDAY: LTHC Homeless Services and the Salvation Army, organizations with neighboring facilities on either side of 12th Street in Lafayette, will hold a vigil at 4 p.m. Thursday for those who died while homeless in the community in the past year.
Jennifer Layton, LTHC president and CEO, said the memorial would honor 18 people in a ceremony open to the public.
“It is our hope that everyone will recognize that this as a real issue here in Greater Lafayette,” Layton said. “We want people to get educated, to ask questions and to really understand the problem so that they can be an informed part of the solution to end homelessness. … Homelessness is a problem that can be solved but we need everyone working together to make that happen.”
According to figures shared by LTHC, via the National Coalition for the Homeless, people who have experienced homelessness die 30 years, on average, earlier than someone who has stable housing.
This is the second year that LTHC and the Salvation Army will hold a joint public memorial. It will be on 12th Street, between Union and Salem streets.
Looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer? How about a subscription to Based in Lafayette? (Or feel free to treat yourself to a subscription. Here’s how.
OTHER READS …
IEDC GRILLED AS IT ASKS FOR $300 MILLION MORE: On a day when Gov. Eric Holcomb and Greater Lafayette officials confirmed that they’d had a summit, of sorts, on the ongoing study into a water pipeline between Tippecanoe County and the LEAP district in Boone County, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. got clearance Tuesday to spend nearly $300 million for a range of land deals and incentives to recruit companies to the state. The companies in play, IEDC officials told the State Budget Committee, were talking about a combined investment of at least $7.2 billion. Some of those were in the LEAP district on the edges of Lebanon; others were in undisclosed parts of Indiana, where State Budget Committee members were told several communities were vying for one business.
What wasn’t revealed: The names of the companies or the final price of all the IEDC is bringing to the table in secretive deals, particularly for the LEAP project.
Mark Wasky, IEDC’s vice president of strategic initiatives, told State Budget Committee members that land purchases presented Tuesday in Boone County – pulled from a fund set up in the most recent, two-year state budget – were not going to companies that expected to need water from a proposed pipeline from a Wabash River aquifer in western Tippecanoe County.
Wasky and other IEDC officials were blasted, though, by Democrats on the State Budget Committee, who said they were tired of being asked to approve hundreds of millions of dollars for the IEDC without specifics or assurances other than a general “we’ve got this.”
Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Whitney Downard had a good wrap-up on how that meeting played out: “Democrats critical of cryptic IEDC spending requests.”
ICYMI, A Q&A WITH GOV. HOLCOMB, ALL ABOUT WATER: I crammed as many questions as I could into a 20-minute session this week with Gov. Eric Holcomb about the prospects for the IEDC-backed pipeline plan, why he’s bullish on the LEAP district and what recent assurances to local officials really meant for water in Tippecanoe County. Click the headline below to read it: “Holcomb says as Wabash River aquifer is explored, Indiana needs to distribute water for opportunities statewide of ‘unprecedented scale.’ A Q&A on water and growing local pushback.”
PURDUE GLOBAL’S FINANCIAL SITUATION: Forbes reporter Derek Newton had this about Purdue Global, an online arm of Purdue created in a 2017 deal with Graham Holdings that had the university taking on the former for-profit Kaplan University. Newton reported this week: “According to Graham Holdings Company’s recent SEC filing, Purdue Global owes it a ton of money. ‘As of September 30, 2023, Kaplan had a total outstanding accounts receivable balance of $127.8 million from Purdue Global related to amounts due for reimbursements for services, fees earned and a deferred fee,’ GHC told the SEC.” It stems from market forces squeezing the university in contract gives Kaplan Higher Education 12.5% of Purdue Global’s proceeds. As one critic told Forbes: “(Purdue Global) hasn't been the money maker that Mitch Daniels thought.” Newton has more details here: “Purdue Global Owes $128 Million To Its For-Profit Partner. It May Not Be Able To Pay.”
(SAY IT LIKE MICHAEL STIPE SANG IT …) LEONARD BERNSTEIN: Indianapolis Star reporter (and good friend) Domenica Bongiovanni had a great story tied to the release of “Maestro” about conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein’s connections with Indianapolis, Bloomington and other parts of the state. Here’s the story: “With Netflix's 'Maestro' release, musicians remember Leonard Bernstein's time in Indiana.”
A $1 BILLION PROBLEM: Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Whitney Downard also had this from Tuesday’s State Budget Committee, where lawmakers learned that some bad estimates on Medicaid spending will lead to big problems for the state. Here’s her lede: “The state’s April Medicaid expenditure forecast missed the mark by roughly $984 million due to a combination of state budget reversions and unexpected growth of services for aging and disabled Hoosiers, leaving a state agency scrambling for a solution as lawmakers consider how much to cover from the state’s reserve funds.” For the rest of the report and what state lawmakers plan to do about it: “Covering $1B shortfall in Medicaid forecasting means dipping into reserves.”
AND, FINALLY …: Congratulations to Tim Newton, who on Wednesday called his 1,000th Purdue women’s basketball game, a run that started in January 1991 and included a national championship and two more Final Fours. Tom Schott had a great tribute to Newton, who also is on point as the voice of Purdue football broadcasts. Read it here.
Thanks, again, to the Haan Museum, presenting “Holidays at the Haan” from through Dec. 30. For more, go to: www.thehaan.org
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