Manchester Community Schools taking step back after referendum fails

Voters there rejected the proposed tax increase for a field house and security upgrades, with 80% of the voters saying "no."

Posted: Nov 8, 2018 7:41 PM
Updated: Nov 9, 2018 6:58 AM

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. (WFFT) - Manchester Community Schools is taking a step back and re-evaluating after a capital improvement referendum failed Tuesday.

Voters there rejected the proposed tax increase for a field house and security upgrades, with 80% of the voters saying "no."

"The North Manchester community kind of sent us a strong message," said Mike Pettibone, Manchester Community Schools superintendent. "Here's basically what they said: We support securing the buildings."

Pettibone said that includes moving school offices to an exterior classrooms, forcing visitors to first enter the office.

He also said the district will do a security audit.

"That might lead us in our architectural team and how we better secure those buildings," said Pettibone.

Pettibone was hoping for a field house connecting the junior high to the high school.

Right now students cross a parking lot several times a day.

However, hat field house is now off the table.

"I think right now we are somehow going to have to develop our scheduling and our curriculum enough so there is less crossing of that parking lot," Pettibone said.

He added the community needs to come together to attract more families to the area.

"I think North Manchester may need to step back and say 'what can we do to separate this small town from other small towns' because we are in competition with each other," Pettibone said.

No decisions will be made about any of the projects until the new school board members take office in January.

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