JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- Under Greater Clark County Schools' plan for a new school in downtown Jeffersonville, Maple Elementary School would join Spring Hill Elementary at Court and Meigs Avenues.

The new elementary would join Nachand Fieldhouse and cost $15 million. Denise Ellnor, the principal of Maple Elementary, said it would be a huge upgrade for teachers and students.

"We still never know if our classrooms are gonna be hot or cold," Ellnor said. "We have stained carpets because our HVAC systems lea,k and a lot of times if they leak really badly in the summer, we will get odors."

District leaders said combining the two older schools with low enrollment into a new school would save $800,000 each year. It would also give students equal learning opportunities.

"By merging the two into one, it's actually a lower cost to build one, building brand new, than to try to renovate the two current buildings," said Greater Clark Superintendent Dr. Andrew Melin. "I'm going in the buildings, I'm seeing the kids, and they don't have the same services and resources as our other elementary schools."

The plan calls for a $15 million bond, and district officials said the maximum impact on an average $125,000 homeowner would be $23 per year. 

"If the community wants to petition against the project, then they'll have 30 days to do so," Melin said.

If passed, construction could start as soon as this fall, and the school could open sometime during the following school year. The district's next step will be holding two public hearings to get community feedback. The first one will be held Jan. 30. 

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