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Joe Skvarenina column - Mar. 2, 2013

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Joe Skvarenina column - Mar. 2, 2013

Greenfield-Central schools have complex history

Bonnie Lyons of Anderson writes, “Could you tell me where Hancock Central High School was located? I would have graduated from Greenfield High School in 1957 had I not moved to Anderson in August 1956...”

The old Maxwell School burned down in the spring of 1955. The result was a merger of the Center and Green Township schools forming the Central School District in 1955. A new school was built at Maxwell and the former 12-grade school at Eden became a grade school.

The Central School District did well because Eli Lilly was in the district and outside Greenfield city limits. But merger mania continued when the School Reorganization Act of 1959 was passed. Greenfield was not big enough to stand alone. So it was decided to attempt to combine  Center School District and Greenfield.

The vote to move forward was held on Primary Day 1964. The new Greenfield-Central Community School was approved by a 1,294 to 1,211 vote. According to the newspaper, Center Township outside the city and Green Township voted against the merger 5 to 1.

The old Greenfield High School prior to the current one had been at Riley School, the location of the corporation offices, which is represented by the remaining arch after the fire, and Lincoln Park School is now Lincoln Square Apartments.

The Greenfield High School (aka Lincoln Square Apartments) was opened September 1926. The cost of constructing Lincoln Park was $117,854. It was built at the site of the old west or Washington School building.

So, Bonnie, I hope that this answers your question.

Other interesting school and merger facts:

Blue River Township contained the county’s first school, which was a log structure next to Elijah’s Tyner’s store on Blue River in 1823. Blue River Township was the first to consolidate on Sept. 1, 1893. Township Trustee William Toms and the parents from Districts 4, 5 and 8 petitioned the county superintendent to consolidate.

Permission was granted by County Superintendent Quitman Jackson to do so. In 1914-15, all the students in Blue River were sent to Westland School. The high school at Westland was constructed in 1894.

But the drama continues. On Jan. 24, 1947, Westland School burned down, which resulted in the consolidation of Blue River Schools into the the new Jackson Blue River Township School District, which was formed on Aug. 1, 1953. At this point everybody went to school in Charlottesville, which added a few rooms to accommodate.

Enough. I have told you everything that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.

Write to historian Joe Skvarenina at jskvarenina@hotmail.com or in care of the Daily Reporter at 22 W. New Road, Greenfield, IN 46140.

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