Did you know that Marian University now owns a lot more land than it used to?
That’s right. Indianapolis Public Schools transferred several acres of land surrounding Cold Spring School last week to Marian University. This acreage included lots of natural habitat along the river as well as three buildings, one of which is the beautiful Sommers Mansion:
I bet you’re wondering why a struggling public school district would do such a thing, especially when the potential revenue that could have been generated from selling the property sure would come in handy right about now.
Apparently most folks at IPS are satisfied with Marian University simply assuming all maintenance costs associated with the property. In fact, the amount of money that Marian spends each year to maintain the property will ultimately purchase the Cold Spring School building itself, after 13 years of upkeep costs. (I think aggressively marketing and renting the Mansion could probably cover most/all of that, but I digress.) Essentially, if IPS decides to no longer operate a school at this location after 13 years, Marian assumes ownership of that property also. You can read the term sheet for yourself here.
It really comes as no surprise. Marian University essentially gained control of the school back in April 2016 when Cold Spring converted to Innovation School status. This was unprecedented because, under IPS’s operation, Cold Spring School was rated an A.
I certainly hope that the A rating remains, although Marian has announched plans to make Cold Spring School a lab school for its School of Education, which may or may not shift its curricular focus away from the current Environmental Studies curriculum that has been so successful. I’ve heard rumors that Tony Bennett has been contracted to evaluate and revamp Marian’s teacher education programs, which, if it’s true, will likely result in the strengthening of the already prominent Teach For America (TFA) and The New Teacher Project (TNTP) transition-to-teaching programs…just a little prediction for ya.
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