Richmond Community Schools has hired Indiana consultants to conduct a reorganization study of the district. 

As part of their resource analysis, the trio will review the possibility of reconfiguring grade-level combinations and implications for affected buildings and transportation. 

RCS’ board and administrators would review the consultants’ suggestions but could dismiss them if they don’t think they’re the right choices for the community.   

The board approved the $25,000 contract with Administrator Assistance with a 6-1 vote during its Feb. 28 meeting. John Weber voted no, saying he would prefer RCS’ capable administration team begin the work and then seek outside help if needed. 

Three retired superintendents with a combined 115 years of experience in education, Wayne Stubbs, Steve Edwards and Tracy Caddell, will conduct the study. Edwards, who led Marion schools, will lead Richmond’s analysis.

They plan to do a lot of listening to gather ideas and comments. Caddell said stakeholders are generally more candid about what kids need when speaking with outsiders. 

Caddell also said RCS’ current administrators are “super busy taking care of your kids” and asked what could be removed from administrators’ plates to get the study done in about three months like they could. The consultants will tour buildings, talk with the district’s architect and look at past studies. 

RCS Superintendent Curtis Wright noted the firm’s success in improving Muncie Community Schools. 

After hearing teacher Kristen Jones speak about the high ratio of English language learners to staff during public comment, Caddell said their study could help address student needs and use personnel more effectively. Jones told the board that the state guidebook advises 30 students to 1 teacher, but RCS now has 71 students to 1 teacher and new students continue enrolling. 

School officials said the analysis is well timed when RCS is conducting public hearings for issuance of $20 million in debt for facilities repairs and improvements. 

Board member Kym Pickering said data would help the board avoid investing money in things that might not work in the long term. 

RCS administrators said the approximately $18.6 million in improvements would include safety, security and energy efficiency projects, site work, athletic improvements, and potential purchase of real estate, equipment and technology. 

Weber said he felt RCS should be more conservative, seeking $15 million now and preparing for another $15 million project in a few years.

Chief Operations Officer Karen Scalf said many classrooms are hot or cold, and improving the comfort level could improve learning environments. She also wants to provide fun learning environments inside and outside, such as playgrounds, which positively impact neighborhoods too.   

Scarf said this funding could help RCS catch up with deferred maintenance and look ahead to proactive maintenance. 

Proposed items include parking lot and bus lane asphalt repair, fencing, playgrounds, roofing/facades, HVAC, restrooms, public address systems, security cameras, lockers, Applied Skills, flooring, paint, softball/baseball fields and grounds, resurfacing RHS’ track and exploring lane addition, and rebuilding tennis courts. 

They hope work would be done in 2026, but equipment and vendor availability could cause delays.  

Ron Cross, RCS attorney, said financial analysis by Jamie Bolser, chief of finance and human resources, her team and consultants regarding debt service and bonds for those repairs was well done. 

Bolser said properties inside Richmond city limits valued at $80,000 or more are already at their tax cap and won’t feel an increase from this project. 

The increase would be just over 5 cents per $100 of assessed value before any deductions are factored in. 

For example: 

  • A Richmond City Wayne Township or Spring Grove taxpayer with a home worth $50,000 would pay $6 more per year and a $75,000 home would cost $9.90 per year. 
  • Residents in Wayne Township outside city limits would pay $19.65 per year for a $100,000 homestead.
  • A Boston Township or Boston town resident with a $200,000 property would pay $58.65 per year. 

No one from the public spoke at the first hearing. The public has one more opportunity to comment at a hearing during the board’s 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, meeting at 300 Hub Etchison Parkway.  

The full project list, financing options and tax base analysis presentations are available under the Feb. 28 and Jan. 24 meetings at

RCS filling board vacancy

Brad Walton resigned his Richmond Community Schools board seat to become the district’s facilities director. 

Board members thanked Walton for his 7 ½ years of service including time as president. The appointment would be until Dec. 31 because Walton’s seat is on the November ballot. 

To apply, candidates must have resided in RCS’ District 2 (east of U.S. 27 and south of U.S. 40) for at least 1 full year. The map showing district boundaries is at  

Interviews will be conducted at 4 p.m. March 20. 

Applications and resumes may be sent to or delivered to 300 Hub Etchison Parkway by 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 13. 

For more information, call Cindy Elzemeyer at 765-973-3335. 

Kristen Brunton is the new board president. Nicole Stults is vice president and Peter Zaleski is secretary. 

McBride Stadium update

RCS announced Feb. 27 it had officially closed that day on its purchase of McBride Stadium at 201 N.W. 13th St. and the surrounding area including four ball fields from the city of Richmond.

Scalf thanked Mayor Ron Oler, Parks Superintendent Denise Retz and parks staff for the care they’ve put into the stadium and making the transition as smooth as possible. 

Volunteers will be needed to prepare the stadium for baseball season. The first cleanup day took place Saturday. For more information about involvement, call 765-973-3411 or email

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A version of this article appeared in the March 6 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.