Fight over West Lafayette's former Happy Hollow Elementary school continues

Credit: WLFI
Published on November 26, 2019 -
The fight over West Lafayette's former Happy Hollow Elementary school continues

Fight over West Lafayette's former Happy Hollow Elementary school continues

West lafayette community school corporation has 30- days to convince the court its lawsuit against the state is relevant.

The school corporation is fighting a state law that requires public school corporations to lease un-used school buildings to charter schools for a dollar.

This could affect the former happy hollow elementary school.

News 18's micah upshaw was in the courtroom this afternoon.

She joins us in the studio to break down circuit judge sean persin isn't convinced the school district's argument is relevant in tippecanoe county.

Right now west lafayette city hall is occupying happy hollow elementary school.

But the school district is worried they could legally have to lease the school for (one- dollar( when the city's lease ends.

Both the school corporation and the state of indiana legal representatives harped on (two( main points.

The state wants the caseed.

The deputy attorney general argues it's all hypothetical and irrelevant at this time.

The state says there are (no( charter schools that have expressed interest in happy hollow.

The school corporation argues this case is relevant now.

They say waiting until a charter school shows interest is affecting school district planning.

School leaders say it could also cause financial hardship if a charter sch request their building.

They find a (dollar( isn't fair compensation for their property.

Robert: the property is worth closer to $10 million, we could sell this property independently right now and generate somewhere in between 6 and $10 million and that would be money that would be used for the benefit of the school corporation.

Kelly: we don't want to waste taxpayer dollars so governor holcomb, this matter needs to be dismissed because they don't have standing, no charter school is interested, we would waste a lot of resources to litigate this matter.

The city of west lafayette's lease expires in january 20-21.

Judge persin has ordered the school corporation to comply with the current law.

The corporation has to formally notify the department of education that happy hollow is available.

Charter schools then have 30-days to issue a request for the vacant spot.

Judge persin says if a charter school does request to take over happy hollow he will take that into consideration.

This will decide if the school has standing in this case.

School corporation attorney robert (ry- ling) reiling says the supreme court will have the final say in this case since it's a constitutional challenge.

Micah upshaw.

News 18.

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