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1 year after consolidation talk, NESC moves 7th/8th grade to NCHS, to repurpose NEMS facility

Photo by HAROLD BOSSTICK: The Northeast School Corp. Board of Trustees unanimously approved a motion to move seventh- and eighth-grade to North Central High School and the sixth grade to both Northeast East and Northeast North elementaries.

The Northeast School Corp. Board of Trustees unanimously approved measures on Wednesday that will transfer grades housed at Northeast Middle School to other facilities and turn that building into the corporation's main office and, possibly, an alternative school.

Part of the impetus for this was falling enrollment and changes to graduation requirements that had the corporation add additional programming and seek ways to realign classes for middle- and high-school students.

"Change is tough for some people. Change is exciting for some," said NESC Superintendent Mark Baker. "With all the new programs, it's an exciting time."

The decision will have the seventh- and eighth-grade classes transferred to North Central High School and occupy the wing of the building that was built to house those grades over a decade ago.

In addition, the sixth-grade NEMS classes would be split between Northeast North Elementary in Farmersburg and Northeast East Elementary in Hymera.

Once those grades are moved from NESM, the building would be repurposed into the offices for the corporation (currently located in a separate facility near NEEE), the facilities maintenance/food services staff and an alternative school that will service nontraditional students.

This comes just shy of a year after the corporation initially suggested closing schools. The corporation initially decided against that move citing funding changes in state law.

However, they did set three-year benchmarks for re-evaluating building consolidation - which officials noted Wednesday had been swiftly approaching before the first year was open.

For more on this story, see Friday's edition of the Times.

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