Neighbors, history help shape new school design

TIPP CITY – Architects working on the conceptual design of a proposed new elementary school are taking into consideration the location in a neighborhood and the rich history of the district’s school buildings.

The conceptual design of the proposed Tippecanoe Elementary School was shared with the school board and at a community meeting earlier this month by Mike Ruetschle of Ruetschle Architects, Dayton.

“We want to design buildings that stand the test of time,” he said, discussing briefly other buildings the firm has constructed including the Milton-Union schools in nearby West Milton.

Voters will decide in the March primary election a bond issue request for the proposed prekindergarten through grade three building that would be constructed on the site of the Broadway Elementary/Tipp Central schools. The district is seeking a 3.98-mill bond issue that would raise nearly $30 million. A second bond issue on the same ballot will ask voters for 0.69 mills to raise $5 million for a new stadium.

Ruetschle said the Tippecanoe Elementary School building needs to be “sensitive to the rich history of the site” and “a good neighbor” in the mostly residential area along Broadway, south of Main Street near the city’s downtown.

A conceptual rendering shared at both the school board and the community meeting was what Ruetschle called a first step. He said the architects were “excited” to show those gathered the rendering and listen to their feedback.

The red brick building would be oriented so the entry would be aligned with Sixth Street.

Characteristics of the Broadway Elementary and Tipp Central buildings that would be demolished, and the Castle built in the 1890s and demolished in the mid-1960s, are incorporated in the concept design through exterior features such as arched windows, a grand entry with arches and stone medallions that read education and character.

The project schedule calls for planning through March. If the school bond issue is approved, the schedule continues for abatement/demolition of the Broadway/Tipp Central buildings next summer. Construction would start with site work in fall 2016, followed by building bidding in January 2017, construction and a projected move-in at the new building in summer 2018.

For more information on the facilities planning, visit the district’s website at Anyone with comments or questions on the new school design can email Superintendent Gretta Kumpf at

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