FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — At Monday night’s school board meeting, the Northwest Allen County Schools board hosted its first public hearing related to plans to address overcrowding at schools in the district.

Superintendent Wayne Barker began the presentation with a recap of how they got to this point.

It included results from a population and enrollment forecast presented to the district in October of 2022 by Dr. Jerome McKibben.

McKibben’s forecast shows between the 2023/24 school year and 2032/33. His prediction showed that the district would see 607 new students between 2022 and 2027/28. Then, another 252 students would come along between then and 2032/33.

His key points from his findings showed that a new middle school was needed because both Carroll Middle and Maple Creek Middle School are both already full. It also showed that the high school needed to be prepped for more students and there may be a need for a ninth elementary school, but that was something the district wouldn’t need to consider until 2025.

Currently, Carroll Middle School is at 95.6% capacity. Maple Creek Middle School is at 99.1% capacity.

This prompted the district to present the following plans:

  • Constructing a new Middle School
  • Adding on to Carroll High School and renovating other parts of the building
  • Building a new Central Office for the district
  • Renovating Perry Hill Elementary School (site of current central office)

During the meeting, presentations were given to show off plans and costs for each project.


New Middle School, Architect: Moake Park Broup Inc.

  • 185,500 sq. feet
  • Student Capacity: 1,000
  • Building includes office space, is very similar to the other middle schools on the exterior, but will have a very different interor

High School Additions/Renovations, Architecht: Barton Coe Vilamaa Architects

  • 27 new classrooms plus support spaces
  • New media center
  • New eight room
  • Expanded cafeteria
  • 70,000 sq. feet in building additions and 25,000 sw. feet in renovations

New Central Office, Architect: Elevatus Architecture

  • Approx. 31,000 sw. feet
  • Will include a board room, tech area space, conference rooms

Perry Hill Elementary Renovations

  • Moving out of the current central office will open up space at Perry Hill Elementary. Restructuring that portion of the building will create four more classrooms.


New Middle School:

  • Current: Schematic design stage
  • Bond Sale and Closing in January/February 2024
  • Begin Construction February/March 2024
  • Construction completed June 2026

High School Renovations:

  • Current: Schematic design stage
  • Bond Sale and Closing in January/February 2024
  • Additions construction complete in May 2025
  • Renovation construction complete in December 2025

Central Office and Perry Hill Elementary:

  • Design/Budgeting/Bidding happening now through October 2023
  • Bond Sale and Closinng in November/December 2023
  • Start construction in February/March 2024
  • Complete Construction in May 2025
  • Start Perry Hill renovations in Summer of 2025, be ready for fall semester in 2025.


NACS will be using proposed First Mortgage Bonds to finance the total projects. They intend to sell the bonds as a total project rather than three individual bonds.

The intention is to complete the projects without a referendum.

At the meeting they presented budgets for all three projects and broke them down by hard and soft costs.

Hard costs consist of things such as construction, utilities and site or road improvements. Soft costs include surveys, soil testing, permits, technology, and architect fees.

They also included the issuance costs for all of the projects together. These are fees for bond counsel, school counsel, title insurance, appraisals, underwriting and financial advisors.

The maximum total cost for the projects combined is $178,000,000. That’s the number the district cannot exceed.

The breakdown looks like this:

New Middle School:

  • Hard costs: $80,555,284 (potential purchase of land included in this figure)
  • Soft costs $20,069,252

High School Renovations:

  • Hard costs: $443,125,297
  • Soft costs: $9,240,505

Central Office and Perry Hill Elementary:

  • Hard costs: $14,605,109
  • Soft costs: $3,365,081

The total issuance cost is budgeted at $6,530,000.

The financial presentation also included the impact on tax payers. Assuming a 5% net assessed value (NAV) growth compared to right now, there was essentially no impact on tax payers based off of their home values.

If there is no NAV, which was described as the worst-case scenario, the tax impact showed to be an additional $5.53 a month or $66.34 per year for the median home value in the district.

The board did approve a Bond Service Agreement with Stifel, which is an agreement that they will work through that company to finance these projects.

Monday’s meeting was also a public hearing. No one spoke when the board asked for public comment.

The district will hold its second preliminary hearing and seek public comment at its meeting on May 22 at 6:00 p.m.

A district spokesperson told WANE 15 that they’ll wait 30 days after that meeting for any other concerns to be brought forth and addressed or resolved. Following that 30 days, they will move forward with the projects.

All of the information from the presentation can be accessed by the public via the NACS School Board page on the district’s website.