Rossville-Alvin SD Voters Endorse Reopening Their High School

April 06, 2011

Six years ago, voters in the Rossville-Alvin School District approved the deactivation --- that is the closing --- of their high school. And for the past five years, students from the rural Vermilion County district have attended high school in Hoopeston, to the north, and Bismarck, to the south.

But Rossville-Alvin voters indicated Tuesday that they're ready for a change. They voted 353 to 295 --- or by a 54% majority --- in favor of a referendum to reactivate their high school.

Rossville-Alvin School Superintendent Randy Hird says cost was a major factor. The district pays tuition to send its high school students to the neighboring high schools ...

"The tuition became a little bit more expensive, more expensive that has originally been planned," Hird said. "And there was just some question on the school board's mind what the input of the community would be. So the whole purpose of the vote was to gauge what the community support would be to reactivate the school or not."

Hird says they've been paying about $7,000 per student per year to send the district's high school students to other schools. The total cost to the Rossville-Alvin district has been 700-to-900 thousand dollars annually. Hird says a study prepared for the district by consultants from Eastern Illinois University concluded that the cost of tuition and the cost of hiring staff to reopening the high school was "about the same".

Hird says he expects the Rossville-Alvin school board will seek more detailed information over the next few months about the costs of reopening the high school. But he says if they decide to do so, it would be the fall of 2012 at the earliest before classes could resume.

The Rossville-Alvin high school building is located across the street from Rossville-Alvin Elementary School in Rossville. Hird says the building is still being used, for pre-school and daycare programs, while its cafeteria is used by the elementary school at lunchtime. He says the high school gym is also used for musical programs and graduation ceremonies.

Story source: WILL