Board president presents "outside the box" options for Harrisburg High School


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Randall Barnes

HARRISBURG, Ill.- The plans for a new high school building came to a screeching halt in April, but school board president Scott Berry said the lifespan of the current building is still coming to an end, too.

As a result, Berry presented the board with five potential options for future students. 

In a letter he said, because the building will not meet safety and educational requirements, the predicted last class of the current high school will likely be the class of 2016. 

The first option listed is to deactivate the high school and change the district into a K-8 district. Berry said 8th grade graduates would receive a "tuition voucher" to attend the high school of their choice. He added that the option would be a "tremendous tax saver to residents and could happen before 2016.

Another option would be to share the middle school building and split the schedules. He said high school students could use the building from 6:30 A.M. until 12:30 P.M. and middle school students could use the building from 1:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M.

He also suggested putting up a portable campus on the middle school grounds, consolidating, or moving  high school students into the S.I.C. campus.

At the led of the letter, Berry admitted the ideas aren't perfect, but said that "doing nothing is not an option."

To see the entire letter with all of the options and details, click here and here.

The district superintendent said the board would have to approve the ideas before they went into effect.