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Illiana Christian relocating across border to Indiana

A big move is ahead for Illiana Christian High School, from Lansing to an area near Saint John, Indiana, about ten miles from the old one, and some students and parents are against the change.
March 28, 2014 2:19:27 PM PDT
A big move is ahead for Illiana Christian High School, from Lansing to an area near Saint John, Indiana, about ten miles from the old one, and some students and parents are against the change.

For over 65 years, Illiana Christian High School students have been going to class at a building in Lansing. The school began small and as the student population grew, additions were built. But now, its principal says with over 500 students, they have outgrown this location.

"Our current facility is getting a little tired," Peter Boonstra said. "We have for many years struggled with some of its limitations, not having enough athletic fields, educational facilities."

After years of discussing it, this week the Illiana Christian School Board approved a plan to move across the border. The preferred location is a 40-acre site near St. John Indiana.

"We are not really making this an Illinois vs. Indiana thing," Principal Boonstra said. "We have been on the border for its whole existence, we will continue to, slipping over to the other."

Principal Boonstra says half of his students live in Indiana and many who live in Illinois come from the south and east, not far from the new location.

Despite that, some parents on the Illinois side of the border are against the move. Carl Smits fears once the school leaves, many Illinois students will not follow.

"The main reason I'm against it because I see such a great need for a quality Christian education I also see in St, John," Smits said. "I don't think it should leave here."

The new school will include many more athletic facilities, but according to Indiana state rules, new schools must wait four years before participating in post-season tournaments. Principal Boonstra says that will not change any plans to build..

"We are aware of that limitation, our intention is to get that waiting period reduced," Boonstra said.