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Goodwill to open two more Excel centers

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Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana Inc. is planning two new locations for its popular charter high school for adults, The Excel Center.

The not-for-profit group announced Tuesday that its new Excel campuses will be located in the former Aenon Bible College building east of the Indiana State Fairgrounds and in the AmeriPlex distribution complex south of the Indianapolis International Airport. Both schools will begin classes within the next month.

The schools, which were recently authorized by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, will enroll 300 students near the fairgrounds and 150 near the airport.

Goodwill’s original Excel Center, which opened a year ago, had 300 students in its first year. But it built up a waiting list of 1,300 students who wanted to enroll. The original school is on the campus of Goodwill’s Indianapolis headquarters, at 1635 W. Michigan St.

“We had such a tremendous response from adults throughout the community who wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to go back to school that we knew we needed to expand,” Scott Bess, chief operating officer of Goodwill’s education division, said in a prepared statement.

The Excel centers help adults who dropped out of high school earn their diplomas. They also pay tuition for students to take the first steps toward earning industry certificates or degrees at Ivy Tech Community College.

The average age of the center's students is 25.

The new school near the fairgrounds will allow students to specialize in medical and child development careers. The school near the airport will allow students to focus on careers in manufacturing or logistics.

Both new locations will also offer general studies options.

The new center near the fairgrounds will hold classes at 25th Street and Keystone Avenue while the Aenon Bible College building is being renovated.

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