By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
The South Madison Community Schools board on Thursday approved redistricting of elementary schools in the system and construction of a concession stand at Pendleton Heights High School.
According to Superintendent Joe Buck, the redistricting recommendation will affect kindergarten to fourth-graders living in the Prairie Hollow Addition and the area south of Indiana 67 and west of Indiana 9. These students currently are in the Pendleton Elementary district and will enroll in the Maple Ridge Elementary district before the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
The provision will allow next year’s fifth- and sixth-graders who live in those areas to stay at Pendleton Elementary, and the siblings of those students will have the option to transfer to Maple Ridge Elementary.
“This is a two-year transition,” Buck said. “We wouldn’t be forcing the fifth- and sixth-graders out.”
Board secretary Amy McGinnis said redistricting is part of the ebb and flow of the education system, and it’s not uncommon for the lines to be redrawn regularly as some communities grow and shrink.
“You can never assume, ‘Well, this is it, we’re done,’” McGinnis said. “The landscape is constantly changing. And the kids are resilient, they’re usually able to land wherever and do great. One of the things we’re proud of is that, wherever they go, they’re getting a great education.”
While not directly related to the redistricting, the recent hot-button topic of annexation by Anderson drew concerns from some board members. A large portion of the proposed area to be annexed lies southwest of Anderson, near Pendleton. Board President Chris Boots said half-jokingly that if the annex succeeds, “there will be no growth” in Pendleton.
“I have a dual interest on the issue, because I live near the proposed areas,” McGinnis said. “I appreciate that they’re trying to save their community, but there are a lot of things they can do within Anderson without having to come here.”
Business Manager Ken McCarty proposed the nascent plans for a concession stand near the sports complexes at the high school. The building would also provide restroom facilities and replace the need for portable restrooms at soccer games. The structure would stand over old tennis courts between the football field and a parking lot.
Martin Truesdell of Stair Associates Engineers presented a design of what the structure would look like and answered questions from the board. McCarty said he would work with Truesdell for a design then field reasonable bids for construction.
McCarty said funding for the building would come from two places: boosters and capital project funds. He said he was confident those two sources would allow the project to be completed without taking on new debt.
“We’ll work to find bids we’re comfortable with. If we’re not, then we’ll move on,” McCarty said.
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