It’s one of the more unusual stories in recent memory, with the announcement that the city’s only high school would be closing in the fall, just days before the end of the school year.
But it has a more simple reason: the school doesn’t want to lose its enrollment.
The Hopkinsville City Council, which includes the mayor, voted 4-3 Tuesday night to approve a request to transfer all students to a new, higher-performing community college for the fall.
The school has more than 300 students, about 30 percent of whom live in Hopkins County.
That would give the school more flexibility to expand and hire additional faculty, to address the demand for more students.
The council will meet again Thursday to decide if it should extend the transfer to the spring, but for now the school will close at the end, according to a statement from Mayor Jim Stansbury.
Stansbury said he believes that the community college will attract more students in the long run, but he said the school’s students will need a place to live.
He also said the move to the community colleges would be better for the local economy and for the community as a whole.
“There are many benefits that come with having students from this community college here, especially when they come from out of state and come into our city,” Stansberry said.
“They will have the ability to study and work, to work in our community and to come back, and that’s something that’s very important to us.
We’re all here for a reason, and we’re all looking forward to it.”
Hopkins County schools chancellor, David Saylor, said he was pleased to see the city move forward with the plan.
“This is a great first step,” Saylor said.
“[The Hopkinville Community Colleges] is an excellent example of how we can serve students and families, while providing the same level of quality education as the rest of the state and to the best of our ability.”
The move comes as many other schools in the state are moving to the colleges.
Hopkins College of Art and Design in Indianapolis, for instance, is transferring all of its students to the University of Indianapolis.
The city of New London, Conn., recently closed a community college in suburban Boston to make way for the city-owned and operated New London Community College, which is located about a mile away.
In the past, many community colleges have sought to diversify their students, but Saylor has said he wants to give them a shot.
He said the transition to the college will help with the cost of college, which will drop for students who graduate, and the transition will help the community and the state.