Muncie’s Southside High School closes Friday

MUNCIE (WISH) – It’s the end of an era for Muncie’s Southside High School. When classes end for the year, the high school will close its doors for good after 52 years.

The decision to close Southside and merge with Central High School in downtown Muncie came after months of debate.

“The only word I can think of right now is sad, just sad,” said Southside alum Joseph Anderson last November on the day of the school board vote.

But school leaders said they had little choice because of financial challenges and lower student enrollment.

“We have no money. We have no money to maintain two high schools,” said board member Tony Costello last November.

Costello said the district has lost nearly two-thirds of its students since the 1970s.

Since the decision to merge schools, much has gone into the transition for students. In what district officials have called “One Muncie,” more than 500 community volunteers have been helping with leadership academies for students from both high schools, the football teams met in April to do a camp together, and Southside students have been taking tours of Central High School.

Their first day together will be Aug. 13.

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