Muncie high school consolidation vote set for Monday

Muncie Southside High School may be consolidated with Muncie Central.
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The biggest and most passionate topic of conversation in Muncie is Monday's school board vote on whether to consolidate the two high schools.

Students at Southside High School could join their rivals at Muncie Central.

"Oh yeah, it's the big thing in town. Everyone is talking about it," said Muncie resident Bonnie Ammone.

Ammone ate lunch Friday at MAC's Sandwiches and Salads on the south side of Muncie.  She enjoyed her lunch, despite being frustrated over the upcoming vote.

"Putting these kids together is going to create a problem," she said.

Ammone doesn't want to see Southside and Muncie Central high schools consolidate. To her, it's about erasing community tradition.

"They are rivals at football. Rivals at basketball. They say their kids are tougher than ours. It goes on for generations. That's the way it is," she said.

"These are emotional times," said Muncie Community School Superintendent Tim Heller.

Heller said the potential merger is about the bottom line. The superintendent said declining enrollment and budget troubles trump tradition. He also told Eyewitness News it's likely the Muncie Community School Board will vote to consolidate.

Students currently at Southside High School will then join Muncie Central High School.
Southside would likely be turned into a middle school as early as next fall.

1973 Southside graduate Ron Jones said he is not upset about losing his alma mater. After all, he says, this has happened before in Muncie.

"They closed down my elementary. They closed down my junior high. Now, they are closing my high school. Gotta do what you gotta do," said Jones.

The Muncie Community School Board will meet Monday night at 6:30 to vote on the consolidation plan. The meeting with be held at Muncie Area Career Center and is open to the public.

Extra security officers have been hired for Tuesday at Southside High School, since Monday night's vote will likely lead to consolidating the two high schools.