Chesterton Middle School Closure Delay

Supply chain forces delay in opening of Westchester and Liberty Middle Schools

Audrey White, Opinions Section Editor



The opening of Westchester and Liberty Middle Schools has been postponed, thus delaying the closure of  Chesterton Middle School. 

As a consequence of supply chain disruptions that have occurred since the start of the pandemic, the closure of Chesterton Middle School has been delayed. Certain items needed for the buildings have resulted in an extended wait.

It is the hope of Duneland School Corporation that both Westchester and Liberty Middle School will be open for 7th and 8th grade students in August 2024.

Each middle school will be fully staffed. The school district has invested precise efforts to smoothly transition specific teachers to each school. 

During the fall of 2021, the school district altered boundaries so that both middle schools will have alike enrollments. As of right now, Westchester Intermediate School has somewhere between 100-120 more students than Liberty Intermediate. With the addition of grades 7 and 8, the student population in both schools would double. By the fall of 2024, Jackson, Liberty, and some of Yost schools will be absorbed into Liberty Intermediate/Middle School. Westchester Intermediate/Middle School will absorb Brummitt, Bailly, and some of Yost.

Because students in grades 5 through 8 will be grouped together in the new middle schools, different procedures will be in place. All students will be able to access the gymnasium, media center, and other areas within the building, but students will be separated by grade and will not have access to these places at the same time as each other. Each grade level has a specific set of needs that will be able to be fulfilled through the grade level separation. 

The 5th and 6th grade students will be able to continue classes at their respective schools as construction continues. The 7th and 8th grade students will be able to continue their education in their new campuses in August 2024.

Both the Westchester and Liberty campuses will be redeveloped to address prior concerns such as electrical matters and plumbing. As for the classrooms, students and staff will be able to expect new flooring, paints, furniture, and lighting. Westchester is currently further along in terms of the revamping process than Liberty at this point in time.

By closing Chesterton Middle School, the operational costs can be reduced for the district as well as allow for an abundance of opportunities for students after the school day. Chesterton Middle School required extensive renovations and to further the efficiency of the school district, it was decided that closing its doors would be more economically sound than renovating other schools within the district.

Following the closure of Chesterton Middle School, the eastern section of the building will remain intact for usage of the pool and other facilities located in that division. The eastern section of the building is intended to be used for special education and district administration offices. The remainder of the property has also interested the Duneland YMCA.