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Howe Military closure could affect local businesses

Howe Military Academy closing after 135 years is an emotional hit on the community, but it may also be a financial one.

Posted: Mar 23, 2019 9:50 PM
Updated: Mar 24, 2019 9:23 AM

HOWE, Ind. (WFFT) - Howe Military Academy closing after 135 years is an emotional hit on the community, but it may also be a financial one. 

"It doesn't matter if it's a school or manufacturer, it's hard on the economy because we're all trying to survive here," said Terry Iannarelli, a local restaurant owner. 

The academy announced this week they will close after this school year due to a decrease in enrollment and a lack of funding. It affects more than 50 staff members, many of them who live in Howe and frequent the businesses. 

"As far as the students, we don't get a lot of business from them because it's a closed campus, but the parents coming in, Alumni weekend... that's definitely going to hurt us," Iannarelli said. 

Iannarelli said any staple of the town leaving makes the future a little uncertain, but he will look at potential changes to make if business does go down. 

"We need to see what happens and then we'll make a decision later on down the road," he said. 

At the Howe Restaurant, the staff said they're sad to see the academy go, but they're in a good location close to camping and other tourist attractions. 

"We're close to Shipshewana, which is a really big tourist attraction. And we're right off the toll road," said Janett Carlson. 

And Carlson is hopeful this won't be the end. 

"When one thing ends in an area, it seems like another group of people take over and keep our business pretty steady," she said. 

Some parents are still trying to raise the money to save the academy. It's unclear what the campus will become. 

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