This Day in Dayton, 15 May
In April and May 1980 the big concern in Dayton was the plan of the Tippecanoe School Corporation to close Dayton Elementary and spend $5.8 million to build a new elementary beside Wyandotte Middle School to serve the entire Dayton, Clarks Hill, and Stockwell area (roughly Sheffield and Lauramie townships). An April 12 article in the Journal and Courier quoted Nancy Edwards’s dissatisfaction with the plan and the information offered by the school board. At a May 7 public meeting at Wainwright, residents of Dayton confronted the school board with facts and figures as to why the school should remain in Dayton. Arliss Jeffries and others spoke for the Dayton crowd, which loudly opposed the proposal that the school board was promoting. A speaker from Romney said he could see the “great bulldozer in the sky” flattening all the county schools. A flyer circulated a few days later by John and Martha Anderson urged patrons to call the school board members to express their opposition to the Wainwright campus plan. To everyone’s amazement, the school board reversed itself and did replace the school at Dayton. The old 1916 building and the 1960s era addition were torn down, and the 1953 gymnasium-cafeteria complex was retained and remodeled, giving us the elementary school we have today. It then built James Cole Elementary to serve the Stockwell-Clarks Hill population. Recently, Wyandotte Elementary was built to take some pressure off the school from the north.