Doors to the Future

It’s a new season for Crawfordsville Middle School, and not just because the school band was outside playing Christmas songs Monday evening.

The school hosted an open house on Monday, allowing the community to get their first look inside the brand new building and giving them a chance to hear about the school’s features as well as its future.

“Thank you very much,” Superintendent Scott Bowling said as he addressed those in attendance. “Thank you for our kids that are going here now. Thank you for the kids who will come here over the next 50, 60, 70 years. This community has always placed education at the forefront of what we do, and I can’t think of a better example than this school as evidence of that.”

The new building is the result of talks that began 20 years ago, when current School Board President Dale Petrie first became a member of the school board.

“The middle school we had at the time had reached the end of its useful life,” Bowling said. “We had multiple teams of architects and engineers come in and take a look at it, and there were just some critical things wrong with the building that weren’t easily fixed with renovation.”

The building process began in May 2012, after the needed referendum passed with an 86 percent vote. And on Monday, the community got to see what they voted “yes” to.

“It is beautiful,” said Lisa Cosby, whose two children attended Tuttle Middle School. “The space they have is just incredible. This is just going to be a real treasure for the community.”

“I think it’s going to add a lot to the neighborhood,” said community member Priscilla Zachary, as she finished her chili, which was part of the dinner provided by the school. “I thought at first the neighbors might think it’s a weird thing to have here...it just seems so much bigger. But I think it’s going to bring the neighborhood up because the neighborhood around it is really getting tired as well. It kind of went more with the old school.”

Tired would be a good way to describe the old Tuttle Middle School, as it was really showing its age.

“I remember in (Shannon) Hudson’s classroom, there was maybe one sink that worked,” said CHS freshman and former Tuttle student Kora Hutchinson. “Now all of them work, and there’s hot water. There would be buckets in the hallway because the ceiling would be leaking, so people would be walking down the sides instead of filling the entire hallway.”

When talks of a new building began for Crawfordsville Middle School, everyone agreed that the new school should be built to last years into the future.

“We spent a lot of time talking about what education is going to be like in 20 years,” Petrie said. “Are they going to have classrooms? Most of our furniture is very modular, so we can move things around. And, of course, we’re as technologically advanced as we can be at this point.”

The new building is fully equipped with wireless technology. There are no WiFi deadspots anywhere in the school, which Bowling said will help the school adjust to the technological way education is shifting. The school was also designed to be very energy efficient. There are no light switches in the entire building. All lights are motion-controlled, and the sensors will turn off the lights if they don’t detect any motion for several minutes. These sensors also send signals to the heating and cooling systems, which Bowling said will really help the school not waste energy in unused rooms.

“When you go from that to this, I really didn’t know what to do,” said CMS

science teacher Shannon Hudson. “When my lights came on without me turning them on, I just stood there and giggled. It’s a gift from the community. I don’t know how else to describe it.”

Hudson said that even the students realize the gift that they’ve been given, and it’s showing in the students’ pride for their building.

“There’s a different attitude with the kids,” she said. “The old school was the old school. Now there is an awful lot of ownership with this new school. For the most part, the hallways are pretty darn clean and the kids are doing it.”

“It’s their place, and it’s their building,” said CMS parent Erica Minnette. “I think they really have a sense of ownership because of that. The middle school kids have an incredible sense of spirit. They always have, but now that they have their own building, I think that’s kind of amplified.”

A mystery unfolds at Rotary Jail Museum

A call for all mystery lovers and sleuths is being posted by the Rotary Jail Museum. At 7 p.m. Friday, a first-time event, a murder mystery dinner, will take place at the old jail and it will be up to the audience to solve the 1920’s era case.

The play, which was written by the museum’s Interim Board President Amber DuBois, has two titles —  “Goldie Sleeps With the Fishes” or “The Night the Town Went Dry."


Assistant Museum Director Brittney Combs, along with other staff members and board members, are the cast for the play. Also, the audience, who is being asked to dress up in 1920s era clothing, will have a part in the production.

“We will set up the play with a series of events,” Combs said. “Then it will be up to the audience to figure out who the murderer is.”

The dinner will be served in the Tannenbaum Center. While the audience is enjoying a catered meal, the cast will act out a series of events that will set up the play. Afterward, the audience will enter the old jail and move around the facility talking to the actors and actresses while looking for clues.

After a set time, the audience will reconvene into the Tannenbaum Center to join together to solve the mystery over desserts.

Combs said the evening should be a lot of fun.

“This is the first time we have tried this but we think the people are going to have a good time,” Combs said. “The idea came from our fund raising committee and we are all looking forward to a fun-filled evening.”

The dinner menu includes a 1/4 baked chicken, salad, mixed vegetables, twice-baked potatoes, dinner roll and drinks. Also, each ticket holder can have two 1920s era alcoholic mixed drinks.

Ticket cost for the evening is $35 per person or $60 per couple. Attendees must be at least 21-years of age. Audience capacity is set at 50 members.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.rotaryjailmuseum.org. Tickets can also be purchased at the Rotary Jail Museum or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information call the jail at 362-5222.

Slidin’ In Our Socks

The Ladoga Elementary School PTO sure knows how to put the fun in their fundraisers!

On Friday, the group hosted a “Sock Hop” in the gymnasium. But instead of traveling back to the 1950s for a sock hop, the students were sliding forward on the slick floors because — at this sock hop — no shoes were allowed.

Many of the students came in their pajamas with funky socks to listen to music, play some games and even have a dance off.

Donations, volunteers sought for Thanksgiving meal

Dinner are preparing another great feast, but they could use the public’s help.

“It’s hard to believe another year has gone and it is that time again to plan for the dinner,” said co-organizer Sheila Zachary. “More than 900 meals were served last year and we are excited and look forward to another great year.”

The 2015 Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held Nov. 26 at First United Methodist Church, 212 E. Wabash Ave. An optional worship service begins at 11:30 a.m. The meal is served from noon to 3 p.m. Carry-out and transportation are available.

Organizers anticipate they will see an increase in numbers again this year. 

“We estimate that we will need 35 cooked and carved turkeys, 30 – 6 lb. 5 oz. cans of green beans, 20 – 21 oz. boxes of Hungry Jack instant potatoes, 30 – 6 lb. 5 oz. cans of applesauce and cranberry sauce, 75 dozen rolls, 75 homemade pies, and an assortment of other desserts,” she said. 

All other food items, as well as paper products, will be purchased from monetary donations. 

Approximately 50-60 volunteers also are needed. Prior to Thanksgiving Day, volunteers are needed to help with food preparation, wall and table decorations and dining room set-up. On Thanksgiving Day, volunteers are needed to work a variety of shifts between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to prepare and serve dining room meals, prepare carry-out meals, deliver meals to home-bound, seat and serve guests, clean and reset dining tables and clean-up the facility.

Again, organizers plan to begin the day with a Community Worship Service to be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon at First United Methodist Church. Home deliveries will begin at 11 a.m.; transportation services will begin at 11 a.m. Seating begins at 11:15  a.m. for the worship service with dinner being served from noon to 3 p.m. 

The menu will be a traditional meal of turkey, noodles, mashed potatoes, seasoned green beans, homemade dressing, applesauce, cranberry sauce, rolls, butter and assortment of desserts and beverages.

The dinner was established for no particular group or individuals, but instead to provide a time for community members to come together and share in the day. 

“We invite Wabash men who are unable to travel home for the holidays, parents who have children visiting from a distance and are unable to accommodate the visiting families, brothers and sisters who are together after periods of separation and would enjoy time to catch-up without the hassle of food preparation and clean-up, and those who would otherwise be spending the holidays alone or those who are without the means of preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” Zachary said.

If you would like to volunteer time, donate a turkey, commit time cooking a turkey or other food items, call Mark or Sheila Zachary at 376-4365 or 376-9624 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. If time is at the premium, financial support is as important. Contributions can be mailed to the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, P.O. Box 23, Crawfordsville, IN 47933. Make all checks payable to “Community Thanksgiving Dinner.”

Courthouse alley closed until further notice

The north/south alley directly east of the Montgomery County Courthouse will be closed from now until approximately Dec. 13.


Marc Bonwell received permission for the closure Thursday during the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting. The alley will undergo demolition and repaving while it is closed.

There was some hesitation expressed during the meeting regarding how the closure will affect businesses around the alley, so Mayor Todd Barton asked Bonwell to check with the businesses and see if any accommodations need to be made.

“It has to be repaired,” Barton said, “so we really have no choice.”

The board also approved Bonwell’s request to close the sidewalk west of the courthouse for a few days sometime this month. Bonwell said they are going to be connecting storm water on Washington Street, but he could not give an exact date because the project is weather-dependent.

Crawfordsville Street Commissioner Scott Hesler told the board that South Boulevard lane closures will begin Monday while the street

department works on storm water mains.

Mayor Barton also told the board that construction on the outside of the Ben Hur building should begin Monday.

In other business, the board approved the 2016 wastewater budget and for parking spaces to be blocked off on Green Street outside the Crawfordsville Police Department for its Food Basket Drive.