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No school closures next year: South Bend board gets first facilities master plan recommendations

Justin Hicks

The South Bend Community School Corporation has no plans to close or consolidate any district schools — at least for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year — through its developing facilities master plan.

The 10-year plan is part of efforts to “right size” the district following years of declining enrollment and underutilized space at almost all schools.

The district has lost over 10,000 students since 2007, and the school board heard its first recommendations Wednesday from education planning consultant Tracey Richter.

He said phase one priorities include a $5 to $6 million investment in Washington High School’s popular medical magnet program using money from the district’s $54 million capital improvements referendum, and the construction of a brand-new career and technical education center, which has not been fully costed.

Any discussion on potential school closures or consolidations will not happen until later this fall, Richter says, after the planning team has fully assessed the district’s current student geographic feeder patterns.

The recommendations were developed following a series of community meetings, as well as several behind-closed-door meetings that were later made public after inquiries from the South Bend Tribune.

More meetings are planned for this fall.

Contact Jakob at or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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