Demolition Begins at Old North Dearborn Elementary School

Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 1:04 PM

By Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corporation, news release

Demolition is expected to take 6-8 weeks to complete.

Photo provided.

(St. Leon, Ind.) - Active demolition of the old North Dearborn Elementary School began this week. The demolition is being completed by Wooldridge Construction Group, Memphis, Indiana, at a cost of $283,474 and is expected to take 6-8 weeks to complete.

North Dearborn High School opened its doors in 1959. In 1973, North Dearborn High School consolidated with Sunman High School to become Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corporation and North Dearborn High School became North Dearborn Elementary School.

In 2014, responding to several years of declining enrollment, the Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to reconfigure the schools in the district by changing each elementary school from housing Kindergarten through 4th grade to housing Kindergarten through fifth grade, and changing the middle school from housing 7th and 8th grade to housing 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. This allowed the Sunman-Dearborn Intermediate School to be the new home of North Dearborn Elementary School.

The old North Dearborn Elementary School was vacated in 2015. Per Indiana Code, the vacant building was listed on the Indiana Department of Education for two years allowing any charter school to express interest.

In 2017, after considering various options and uses for the vacated school building, the board decided to list the property for sale at an appraised value of $384,000. While a few interested buyers toured the building, the board received no official bona fide offers to purchase. The board chose to raze the building and return the property to a field and keep ownership property. At this time, no future use of the property has been determined.

“Many of our community members, former teachers and staff, and current teachers and staff have fond memories of the school building. I appreciate the leadership of our school board in making a difficult but financially prudent decision to reconfigure our schools and vacate the building. While the building is gone, the school certainly is not. North Dearborn Elementary School continues to exist in the newest of our elementary school buildings. It was one of several decisions that has allowed Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools to be in such a strong financial position now and in the foreseeable future.`` Andrew Jackson, Superintendent.

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