Spellcasters Is the Newest School for Talented Young Minds

A real-life Hogwarts-inspired school is coming to Westfield, Indiana. Chris and Briana Wellman are the ones behind the inspired idea. They are dedicating a portion of their own property to a school to educate at-risk kids in the Westfield area.

The plans to get the school built and running are just taking off. Chris Wellman explained the course of action a little more.

We are dedicating half of the 20 acres we live on to a Harry Potter-themed homeschool for at-risk kids. We are naming it Spellcasters. Our foundation, [t]he Patronus Foundation, will be overseeing/managing everything. We will be homeschooling our kids here as well. We are building, albeit a scaled-down version [of], the Great Hall, Gryffindor Tower, Hagrid’s [h]ut, [t]he Great Lake, [t]he Forbidden Forest and more. On the weekends, when the students are gone, we will be doing an [Airbnb] to help fund this project.

But there’s a catch – they need your help. Wellman explained to MuggleNet that the entire project will be managed by the Patronus Foundation, an organization founded by the Wellmans themselves. But they are on the hunt for individuals and companies willing to help with the massive project.

Spellcasters, the aptly named school, will be about 1,500 square feet with a two-story tower and Great Hall as housing and social spaces, respectively. The plan is also to incorporate spaces for recreational activities on the grounds, which include a quidditch pitch. Some of the help they are looking for would include experienced people for a digital rendering of plans, construction, custom vehicle wrapping for the Spellcaster bus, landscaping for the school grounds, teaching and assistants, media management, web design, and more. Perhaps you’re interested in delivering acceptance letters? They need someone for that as well. Students will get their acceptance letters via drone. But to make it look a little more magical, the drone will look more like an owl.

The interior of the school will be modeled around the Great Hall of Hogwarts and Gryffindor Tower. Chris Wellman says his wife, Briana, has a special talent when it comes to her ability to decorate, and because of that, she will be in charge of designing Spellcasters’ interior.

Projects like this one tend to take a little time. The hope is to get students into Spellcasters and learning by fall 2022. Four students, plus the Wellmans’ own kids, will be attending the first term. Mr. Wellman hopes that with a little more funding and space, more students will be able to attend later terms.

At the end of the day, the creation of Spellcasters is all about helping kids, as Wellman explains.

It means the world to me to take on this project. This is why I worked so hard for two decades, to get to this point. I want to wake up everyday [sic] excited about the day ahead and know that I am helping to create a better world. We named our foundation [t]he Patronus Foundation because we want to help protect and properly educate at-risk kids. For whatever reason, and to no fault of their own, they don’t have the resources nor the guidance nor live in a positive environment that kids need to grow into happy, productive members of society.

It takes truly dedicated wizards and witches, like Chris and Briana Wellman, to create something this special. We have no doubt that Spellcasters could one day be just as magical a place for kids as Hogwarts was. For anyone who is interested in lending a helping hand during the construction of Spellcasters, all they have to do is email Mr. Wellman at headmaster@spellcastersacademy.org

MuggleNet would like to extend a special thank you to Chris and Briana Wellman for taking the time to share their project.

Full Transcript with Chris Wellman, Wednesday, June 3, 2021

For clarification, what is your name and where are you from (as much as you are comfortable providing)?

My name is Chris Wellman. I was born and raised in Indianapolis Indiana. I currently live in Westfield, IN with my wife Briana and our son Liam.

How did you start reading/watching the Harry Potter series?

Early in our relationship, my wife Briana tried to get me to watch the movies. I initially kept resisting because I thought they were just for kids. I finally gave in a few years ago. I didn't like the first one but pushed through and very reluctantly kept watching them because it meant so much to her. It wasn't until the Order of the Phoenix that I truly started liking them, and by the last one, they had become my favorite movies ever, by far. Fast forward to today and I have watched all 8 of them about 26 times...lol. We read the books in our spare time.

Can you explain, in fresh words, what your plans are and the basis of your project?

We are dedicating half of the 20 acres we live on to a Harry Potter-themed homeschool for at-risk kids. We are naming it Spellcasters. Our foundation, [t]he Patronus Foundation, will be overseeing/managing everything. We will be homeschooling our kids here as well. We are building, albeit a scaled-down version [of], the Great Hall, Gryffindor Tower, Hagrid's [h]ut, [t]he Great Lake, [t]he Forbidden Forest and more. On the weekends, when the students are gone, we will be doing an [Airbnb] to help fund this project.

My wife and I are planning to do a lot of the work ourselves, then partnering with other companies for the things we can't do. If anyone is interested in helping in any way they feel they can (doing a digital rendering is the next item on our list, but also things like landscape design, construction [(] whether an expert in a specific phase of construction [-] laying foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, [HVAC], landscaping, flooring, interior design, painting, installing siding, etc. - we do have a construction company lined up, but if anyone is an expert at one or more phases or works for a company that is and wants to either donate the service or do [it] for a discount, that would be great), custom wrapping the [S]pellcasters express bus that will pick up/take home the kids, or simply lending a hand as a laborer (setting up/managing the quidditch pitch, help digging the Great Lake (more of a pond), cutting down trees in the [F]orbidden [F]orest, laying/compressing stone for the driveway), working at the school (we have a licensed teacher who is a friend and along with Briana and I will be the main educators [sic], but we could use other teachers and a couple [of] assistants), making an owl that can attach to the bottom of a drone for delivering the acceptance letters, website design, managing/editing our YouTube channel (we are going to film/document this project), volunteering, donating, suggestions, etc.), please email me at headmaster@spellcastersacademy.org. Lots of work ahead on this great journey. Come join our team. Thank you so much!

I started a company in 2002 and always had the goal of getting it to the point where someone else could run it so I could spend more time on my passions (i.e. helping kids, spending more time with family, playing sports, buy/manage land/build a house, having farm animals, learning more about the world, etc). I got to that point with my company around 2018 and started planning/executing those passions with my wife Briana. We bought 20 acres in Westfield, IN, and started to execute our plan. We built a house, pool and tennis/basketball court (for us and the students) and will have many other fun activities around the property, which we named Godric's Hollow. We should be starting construction of Spellcasters within a few months, with the goal of having it finished by [the] spring of 2022, and of course opening day [S]eptember 1st, 2022. Four at[-]risk kids will be getting their letter via owl (drone). The school week will end Friday at 4 pm, and we are planning on doing an [Airbnb] on some weekends to help fund this project. If successful, we plan on building more around the country and hopefully the world.

Based on your plans, the square footage is going to be about 1,200 in total, correct?
The square footage of the school is about 1,500. The [G]reat [H]all is about 46'x20' (920 sq ft), [G]ryffindor [T]ower is about 450 sq ft (hexagonal two[-]story tower, each floor 15 feet in diameter[)], the hallway connecting them is about 10 feet long by 8 feet wide (80 sq ft), [and] the bathroom is about 8'x5' (40 sq ft).

Do you have any plans about how you want to decorate the interior?

My wife Briana loves to decorate and has a [sic] phenomenal attention to detail. She will be doing most of it, but we would love suggestions/ideas. Generally speaking, it will look similar to the inside of the [G]reat [H]all/[G]ryffindor [T]ower.

How many students do you plan on inviting to join your school?

We will be accepting 4 kids to start, then adding more as time, space, funds, etc. allow.

Can you talk a little bit more about what it means to you to take on this kind of project and why you decided to incorporate a Hogwarts theme? What was your inspiration?

It means the world to me to take on this project. This is why I worked so hard for two decades, to get to this point. I want to wake up everyday [sic] excited about the day ahead and know that I am helping to create a better world. We named our foundation [t]he Patronus Foundation because we want to help protect and properly educate at-risk kids. For whatever reason, and to no fault of their own, they don't have the resources nor the guidance nor live in a positive environment that kids need to grow into happy, productive members of society.

What is your favorite Harry Potter book/movie? What is your Hogwarts House?

Deathly Hallows 2. I of course love them all but that one just brings them all together and good triumphs over evil, as it always should. It shows how much hard work and sacrifice goes into accomplishing something for the greater good. My [H]ouse is Gryffindor, and Briana’s is Ravenclaw.

 

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