New Center Grove elementary named

$42 million school to be called Walnut Grove

The public has spoken, and Center Grove’s new elementary school has its name.

The school will be known as Walnut Grove Elementary School, after the moniker was unveiled at the Center Grove school board meeting Thursday. School officials had conducted a community-wide call-out for suggestions on the name in March, then asked people to vote on the top two in April.

More than 1,500 votes were cast, and the top two vote-getters were Walnut Grove and Willow Grove, staying with the district’s tree-themed names.

“We wanted to make sure they had plenty of input into the naming of the new elementary school,” said Stacy Conrad, director of communications for the school district.

Center Grove is planning to build a new $42 million elementary school on Morgantown Road south of State Road 144. The 116,000-square-foot school would be able to house up to 800 students and is expected to be ready in time for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Throughout the first half of March, anyone could submit a name for the school online, Conrad said. That list was combed over by school officials and duplicates removed, where parents, staff and community members could vote on their top two choices in early April.

According to Jeff Beck, a Bargersville resident and Center Grove alumnus who has collected history of the area, the land where the school will be built does contain a small stand of walnut trees, making the name fitting.

Information on the new name was heard in first reading by the board Thursday. With no objections or changes to the proposal, board members will vote to finalize it at the May 18 meeting, Superintendent Richard Arkanoff said.

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Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.