Walnut Grove Elementary School


Flaherty & Collins, LLC
RTKL Associates, Inc.
Center Grove Community School Corporation


Johnson County, IN

CEC Services

  • Landscape Architecture/Land Planning
  • Site Grading
  • Stormwater Management/BMP Design
  • Utility Design
  • NPDES Permitting Support
  • Stormwater BMP Design
  • Water Quality & Quantity Modeling
  • ALTA NSPS Land Title Surveys
  • As-built Surveys
  • Construction Surveys/Staking
  • Topographic Surveys

Owner Objective

Center Grove Community School Corporation is a public school system on the north side of Johnson County. The school district continues to expand and improve most of the school’s site facilities and infrastructure; it was looking for a site design for a new kindergarten–6th grade elementary school that would be called Walnut Grove Elementary School and would be located on the south end of the school corporation’s district. The site was approximately 57 acres and located in a rural area with a large residential lot surrounding the site.

Center Grove Community School Corporation leadership had worked with a CEC employee in the past and recommended that the architect contact that employee to work on this new school project.

CEC Approach

CEC facilitated initial discussions among the school, the residential neighbors to the north, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. Throughout the project, CEC worked with the school corporation leadership (superintendent, assistant superintendent, transportation director, and police chief), the lead architect, the construction manager, and the local community to provide a well-received project.

CEC engaged the neighbors near the site to gain support of the project prior to CEC presenting the project at the Board of Zoning Appeals Special Use Hearing in the town of Bargersville. In addition, CEC engaged with the local review agencies throughout the project.

Site improvements included new utility infrastructure, local highway coordination/ improvements, and stormwater management. Utility work included a sanitary sewer lift station connecting into an existing forcemain, a water main extension through the site, and extension of gas and electrical services. CEC separated bus traffic from student drop-off/pickup zones and queuing lanes. A rain garden and native plant-lined drainage swale was included at entrance of the school, and the site design incorporated two mechanical water quality units and five passive water quality basins. Landscaping consists of walnut and tulip trees that pays tribute to both the school name and the state tree. CEC preserved a large off-site watershed through the eastern end of the site, and also preserved on-site wetlands. In addition, the site design included a large lawn playground area, and CEC handled the playground surfacing.

The northern one-third of the site (14 acres) is dominated with detention facilities and open areas that are planted with native habitat. The native habitat will improve the environment while reducing the amount of land the school will have to mow and maintain. A solar array is located in one of the detention ponds. The panels and racks for the solar array are placed above the flood stages of the pond to prevent damage during times of high stormwater.

Construction was able to begin before winter conditions, allowing the school to open on time and within budget by June 2019. Students started classes in August 2019.