The Chillicothe Board of Education appointed a committee, with the purpose of naming the new elementary school.
The Chillicothe Board of Education appointed a committee, with the purpose of naming the new elementary school. During the process of engaging the community for input on the issue, a different, unexpected issue arose. The community voiced concerns over what would happen to the “old school bell” at Central School. Central School sits at the site of the original three-story brick high school building, that was built in 1876 with a bell tower that hosted the bell displayed at Central. Concerned about the historical significance of the bell, many wondered what would happen to it, and some opinions were expressed. The school board has had no formal discussions to this point about the bell, likely because they are not far enough along with the district’s master plan. R-2 Superintendent Dr. Roger Barnes said that it was good to hear from the committee who has been speaking to the public and getting input. A couple of these ideas were introduced at the meeting, and they each shared the same sentiment. The people hoped that the site would be turned into a park, and use the bell as a monument to the history there, in some sort of protective display. If the district were to do something else with the property, then the people would like the bell to be moved to the site of the new elementary school. “I like the idea of a monument maker there,” said Dr. Barnes. But the district has no plans for the location to date and might not entertain any ideas until a much, much later date. After the new elementary school is completed, and before the 2018-2019 school year, the district plans to move the grades around to the different district properties, leaving Garrison and Central school buildings vacant until decisions are made.