JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Two elementary schools would close in downtown Jeffersonville under a new proposal, but a new downtown school would be built in their place.
Dozens of parents were upset with the idea of closing Maple and Spring Hill Elementary schools. Officials said Tuesday that could still happen, but they're hoping a new plan will gain more support.
Part of that new plan is the new downtown school, which Great Clark County Schools officials said could potentially opening in fall of 2019.
"Having a downtown presence is important," said GCCS Superintendent Andrew Melin. We just can't afford and justify two very small schools with 200-230 students. It's just not financially responsible."
Under the old proposal, kids who attend Maple and Spring Hill would have been bussed across town to Northaven or Bridgepoint Elementary Schools. This plan stirred controversy and had many parents speaking out, but Jeffersonville's Mayor Mike Moore said the plan to build a new school is the only feasible way to keep students in a downtown school.
The community will have the opportunity to petition for signatures for or against the new proposal. If there was enough opposition, officials said the only other option is for the district to go back to the original option of closing both schools and bussing.
"The only alternative if they were to get more signatures is that Maple is going to close, Spring Hill is going to close, and those kids are going to go to Northhaven and Bridgepoint," Moore said. "I can't afford to have that happen."
Under the new proposal, Moore said both schools would remain open while the new downtown school is under construction.
The district is looking at two sites for the new school: one on Court Avenue where the district already owns several buildings and another site where the district's bus depot operates at 12th and Walnut Streets.
Below is the presentation presented by the school board at Tuesday night's meeting:
Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.