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'The kids can kind of all grow up together': Southern Indiana parents react to Greater Clark County Schools new plan

GCCS originally planned to move Parkview Middle away from downtown, which would have created a longer commute for families.

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. — A school district in southern Indiana is changing course after parents raised concerns.

Greater Clark County Schools originally planned to move Parkview Middle School away from downtown, which would have created a longer commute for families in the downtown area.

Tuesday, the district announced its new plan to renovate the existing school and create a new K through 8th grade school along the Salem-Noble Road corridor.

“I love that they mentioned that these changes are based on some of that community input because I think that is, at the core, what community is,” Donna Reed said. She’s a parent of a 4th grader in the district.

Reed said she loves to know her son will be able to walk to Parkview Middle School in a few years and knowing that educational equity will remain intact.

“When we move the schools out to the deep suburbs, and you know, our more affluent areas and take them away from those students, it's really scary to see that education, equity, be up for grabs,” she said.

Kim Krueger is also the mother of a 4th grader in the district, and she’s a fan of the new plan because it keeps Parkview standing, while also providing more space for the southern Indiana county's growing population.

“The kids can kind of all grow up together,” Krueger said. “I do like for him to be in a kind of a smaller town feel and to know almost everybody in his grade.”

Samantha Pierce is a 26-year veteran at Parkview Elementary and she’s the Vice President of the Greater Clark Education Association.

She said she's disappointed with the new plan.

Last month, Pierce told WHAS11 her concerns; she said the building is old, there's not enough space, and they've tried to fix it in the past.

“I think it in the end, we just keep putting Band-Aids,” Pierce said in August. “I feel like in the long run, for the best progress for our students, we can make new memories and we can build even stronger students.”

In a press release, GCCS Superintendent Mark Laughner said the following:

The plan to build a new school along the Salem-Noble corridor was always in our minds, but it was further out, maybe 10 years from now. Changing up our plan with Parkview allows us the funds to move ahead with this project now,” Superintendent Mark Laughner said. “This new school will help address the continued residential growth in that area while also giving those families in that area an additional choice when choosing a quality school for their children. Graduates of this new school will get to choose to attend Charlestown High School or Jeffersonville High School, with transportation being provided to either school.

The district said it'll start looking for land for the new school immediately.

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