Illiana Christian to vote Monday on move from Lansing to Indiana

2014-03-19T12:15:00Z 2014-03-20T00:45:22Z Illiana Christian to vote Monday on move from Lansing to IndianaDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 19, 2014 12:15 pm  • 

A decision on whether or not to relocate from Lansing to Indiana will be put to voters by the Illiana Christian School Board on Monday, according to a letter from the high school's board of directors posted on the school's website.

The move has been in the works for more than five years, the letter states. The preferred location is an approximately 40-acre site at the southwest corner of 109th and Calumet avenues in unincorporated Hanover Township near St. John. A 2009 study commissioned by the board suggested the Reformed Church's population center has shifted south and east of Lansing. Land for the proposed location has yet to be purchased, the letter states.

The new building would be equal to or exceed the current location with room for future expansion and an auditorium to seat 700. The new campus would also have tennis courts, a track, baseball, softball and soccer fields, according to the letter.

An alternate location on a piece of land already owned by the school on 109th Street would be used if the proposed site couldn't be acquired at a "reasonable cost," according to the statement released by the board Feb. 19.

The principal and assistant principal at Illiana Christian High School did not immediately respond to email requests for comment from The Times.

A group of stakeholders with a blog at locationilliana.com opposes moving the school and supports a two-campus system. The 2009 study advised against such a solution.

"We understand that the Crown Point area needs a high school, but we do not believe that Illiana's job in Lansing is done," said Carl Smits, a representative of the group. "If the school is moved, I do believe that another school will be started in Lansing."

Smits,  a 1987 Illiana graduate, has two children at Illiana, one who graduated, and two at Lansing Christan School. Smits said his group numbers several hundred "concerned parents" and stakeholders.

A pair of town-hall style meetings were held on March 5 and 13 to gain input from stakeholders. Monday's meeting will be a ballot vote only with no discussion.

Smits petitioned the board to make a two-thirds majority vote necessary to pass the measure but was denied. A simple majority is all that will be required, and Smits said his feeling is that it will be very close.

Voters are required to be members of a church which holds to the Reformed Standards and adults not currently enrolled in high school. Additionally, they must either be the parent or guardian of a student, a donor who gave at least $10 during the 2013 calendar year or be a member of a supporting church.

Absentee ballots are available on the school's website and can be brought to the meeting by another voter or dropped off at the school before 4 p.m. March 24. The vote will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the high school, 2261 Indiana Ave.

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