Letter: Moving schools requires careful study

It is with special interest that we read your article about the schools for the blind and deaf [Storied schools at crossroads, Feb. 21]. The school for the blind lies within the Nora-Northside Community Council Inc. official “area of interest” and is a neighbor to the Town of Williams Creek. It is not in or near Meridian-Kessler, as mistakenly asserted by spokesperson Melissa Keyes. Neighborhoods such as Broad Ripple, Meridian Hills, Canterbury and Forest Hills lie between the blind school and Meridian-Kessler to the south. Interestingly, the deaf school actually is at the south end of Meridian-Kessler.

It would be wise for officials to work with knowledgeable city planners and neighborhood leaders if any potential redevelopment of these school properties is to be studied. Ms. Keyes and others should be aware that our group and others would be willing to go to the “ramparts,” if necessary, in order to protect the magnificent blind school property and its neighbors from the rape of unfettered development. Hoped-for profit from such development should not be a consideration in plans for a new school partnership.

There is at least one important educational issue to consider about any proposal to move the blind school. There is currently a very successful horticulture and forestry program which prepares visually impaired students for successful vocational futures. Relocating the program to a raw vacant parcel probably could have very negative and unintended impacts on that valuable vocational program.

We, and I’m sure other neighborhood leaders and city planning staff with acknowledged land-use policy understanding, would welcome an invitation by the task force to participate in any land-use discussions as a part of this important study.


Ruth R. Hayes
Nora-Northside Community Council Inc. president

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