The Herald Bulletin

June 4, 2013

Editorial: Welcome back, Killbuck

— A lot of people hated to see Killbuck Elementary School close down in 2010.

It was one of the best schools academically in the Anderson system, parents in the northeast section of Anderson had bonded with the school, and those who saw the school as a leverage against the proposed Mallard lake landfill winced.

Welcome back, Killbuck.

ACS will be reopening the school this fall after an enrollment increase forecast. Killbuck will take in kindergartners from Valley Grove and Eastside elementaries. It will take about $400,000 annual cost to reopen versus $300,000 to keep it closed and hire 20 instructor assistants in anticipation of larger class sizes. Superintendent Felix Chow said enrollment could keep Killbuck open for years or only for a short time.

As with anything, there are pros and cons to this school reopening. The pros are obvious. ACS’ enrollment is on the rise after years of decline. If ACS needs more room, Killbuck is an excellent choice to reopen to new students.

Cons include Killbuck’s location, which will require a longer bus trip for some Anderson students to be taken out to Richland Township. This is just another example of the flux ACS has been in the past few years when schools have been closed or consolidated and students were sent across town for classes.This is readily apparent in the one high school and one middle school arrangement.

But the school system has to do what’s best for all involved. If Killbuck’s reopening is any indication, such changes are probably not over. But ACS needs to strive to achieve some stability in where students go so parents won’t have to guess or be surprised each year.

Another con, and this might be past the point of concern, is whether the school still has brown recluse spiders, which gave parents some fear back in 2006. Yes, it was seven years ago, but with the school sitting empty the past few years, the little devils might have made their way back. We’re confident that ACS will take all precautions before opening the school.

Again, welcome back, Killbuck.