Nov 14, 11:22 AM EST

Ball State buying school building to help Muncie district


MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) -- Ball State University is buying a Muncie middle school building in a step to help the city's financially troubled school district.

Ball State says it will pay $1.3 million for Northside Middle School, which is just north of the university's campus. Ball State will then lease the property back to the Muncie Community Schools for $1 a year and pay the district $60,000 annually for five years toward building maintenance.

University President Geoffrey Mearns tells The Star Press says the agreement is an appropriate way to support Muncie's public schools.

State-appointed emergency manager Steve Edwards says an abrupt closing of Northside would accelerate the district's enrollment decline. The district has closed three elementary schools and cut about 35 teaching jobs as it faced an $8.5 million general fund deficit.

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Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com

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