Plan for new elementary school near jail in Jeffersonville spark - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Plan for new elementary school near jail in Jeffersonville sparks debate

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A new elementary school planned near the Clark County Jail has some in Jeffersonville concerned.

Greater Clark County Schools is preparing to build a new $15 million downtown elementary school on East Court Street by the John H. Schnatter - Nachand Fieldhouse.

The district voted to close Maple Elementary School and Spring Hill Elementary School, combining them into a new school.

Kelli Dattilo, a member of the committee that unanimously picked the site, said it was the cheapest out of the four locations considered and allows for faster construction.

“It’s really halfway between the existing Maple and the existing Spring Hill elementary schools,” Dattilo said.

Alice Butler is against the plan and feels building a brand new school is not needed and wanted the district to renovate one of the two existing elementary schools downtown. 

"They're gonna pick a brand new school in a really poor location, right next to the jail,” Butler said. “No green space for the kids to play. Very little parking."

Supporters of the plan say the location is very safe and offers a lot for students.

"We're down the street from the library. There are parks," Dattilo said. "There's a lot of stuff here in downtown that they can access."

Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore wants the school to use the fieldhouse as the gymnasium. He said a new school is needed to keep the district from moving every elementary school out of downtown.

“All the growth and economic boom that we’ve seen down here, it will cease, it will stop, without an elementary school,” Moore said.

The final presentation on the proposal to school board is scheduled for Jan. 23.

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