By Andrea McCann Times Sentinel Managing Editor
Zionsville Times Sentinel
---- — Zionsville Community Schools have been busy preparing for the future.
In March, the ZCS Board of School Trustees unanimously approved making Boone Meadow Elementary a pre-K through grade-four facility and set new elementary school districts to more evenly balance occupancy at the schools.
Chief Operating Officer Bob Bostwick explained Stonegate Elementary was at 110-percent capacity with 674 K-fourth-grade students while Boone Meadow was at only 37-percent capacity with 219 preschool students. Following a study of the occupancy situation, a recommendation was made to assign pre-K through grade-four students in the Blackstone and Maple Grove housing developments south of Indiana 334 to Boone Meadow, shifting high growth potential to that school.
The move was to reduce Stonegate occupancy to 84 percent - still the highest of the elementary schools - and bump Boone Meadow's occupancy to 72 percent. The boundary changes will have a slight effect on the other elementary schools, bumping their capacities up by 1 percent to 3 percent.
The board also approved hiring a principal for the building, a decision member Bill Stanczykiewicz questioned given the cost.
"It's just part of doing business ...," Chief Financial Officer Mike Shafer replied as he explained the necessity.
At the April meeting, Superintendent Scott Robison announced Kris Landis as the new principal at Boone Meadow. Robison said Landis initially got the building furnished and up and running as an elementary school. Once the Stonegate facility came online, he explained, the elementary students were moved there and Landis opened Stonegate as principal.
"In 2005 (Boone Meadow) ceased being an elementary and became a middle school," Robison continued.
The building then served as Zionsville West Middle School until the present ZWMS building opened in 2007. At that point, Boone Meadow was closed for a time, then leased by MEDCO until 2009, when the school corporation started a preschool there.
In the spring, the board also approved requests by Chief Technology Officer Patti Bostwick to advertise for computer equipment and to acquire quotes for other equipment needed to re-outfit Boone Meadow.
The school opened again, with Landis at the helm, for kindergarten through fourth-grade classes in August.
NO NEW CONSTRUCTION DEBT
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.