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School District and City Cooperation Benefits Both Parties


Lebanon Community Schools was planning a comprehensive renovation of Lebanon High School. The City of Lebanon, with its growing business park, lacked a place to host major meetings, events and conferences.

Good timing and creative thinking led to a solution that benefits both the school district and the city.

The City of Lebanon, through its Lebanon Redevelopment Commission, proposed a cooperative venture. Funded by a $500,000 contribution of TIF funds from the Lebanon Business Park, a planned meeting room at Lebanon High School grew from 2,000 to 9,000 square feet with full technology and catering for up to 600 people. “Anything you can find at a conference center, you can find here,” said Dr. Robert Taylor, superintendent of Lebanon Community Schools.

The room, which can be divided into sections, is used by the school district for meetings and events, and it’s available to outside organizations.

“Boone County groups were having events at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, because there was no comparable venue in Zionsville, Brownsburg, Avon or Plainfield,” said Taylor. “The new conference center is keeping those meetings here in town.

The conference center has hosted an Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT: now Accelerate Indiana Municipalities - AIM) conference, a workforce development conference, the annual United Way breakfast, and an education summit with U.S. Representatives Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita.

“The conference center enhances education, because Rep. Brooks and Rep. Rokita met with our students while they were here for the summit,” said Taylor.

Umbaugh assisted Lebanon Community Schools on bond financing for the renovations and works with the City of Lebanon on various projects. This unique school-city partnership creatively saved taxpayers from funding two different facilities when a shared facility can serve multiple needs.

“Furthermore, Dr. Taylor was made a voting member of our redevelopment commission as one who understands the importance of economic development and intergovernmental cooperation.”