Greenon finalizes building closure plans

Shutting Hustead building will save $275K per year, district says.

Greenon Local School District will move its youngest students to Enon Elementary, house others through sixth grade at Indian Valley Middle School and use the high school for seventh through 12th grades after it closes Hustead Elementary next year.

The board of education approved the closure and consolidation plan and announced a new survey about the building names and mascots.

District leaders made the decision to consolidate because of declining enrollment, rising building maintenance costs and voters’ defeat of bond issues that would have raised money to modernize the schools. The district anticipates savings of about $275,000 each year, operational efficiencies and academic benefits as a result of the consolidation, according to a press release.

After Hustead Elementary closes, the plan says:

• Enon Elementary will be home to preschool through 1st grades;

• Indian Valley will house the board of education office, along with 2nd through 6th grades; and

• Greenon High School will house grades 7 through 12.

Moving will happen over the summer of 2014 with assistance from the Ohio National Guard. District administrators still are working with a committee of staff and community representatives to pursue options for the future of the Hustead building.

“I know that consolidation is a difficult decision for our community, but the financial and academic benefits Greenon will see will significantly benefit the district,” Superintendent Dan Bennett said in a prepared statement.

Nikki Finlaw Jones, whose children will attend Greenon and Indian Valley schools, posted on the Springfield News-Sun Facebook page: “It’s going to be a big change. I guess we’ll have to see how it works out.”

Jones stated that she is worried about starting times, while others who commented expressed concerns about bus routes and teaching assignments.

Bennett said the district will continue to meet with committees and work with staff to determine start times and staffing assignments for the 2014-15 school year.

Greenon residents also can offer opinions about potential name changes for buildings and mascots as part of the consolidation.

To seek feedback, the board of education posted a survey on the district’s website — — that will be available through Jan. 17.

The survey asks about renaming each building to Greenon or using the Knights mascot for each school.

Bennett said the ideas of changing the building names or mascots came about during talks with staff and community members “to unify the district under a common name or symbol.”

“But we also recognize that there are many years of history in each school’s name and much to be proud of in those traditions,” Bennett said.

This year, Hustead and Enon Elementary schools teach grades K-4, Indian Valley Middle School houses grades 5-8, and Greenon High School teaches grades 9-12. The high school mascot is the Knights, while Indian Valley’s is the Redskins and Enon’s is the Tigers.

For those who do not have computer access, paper copies of the survey are available at the board of education office.

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