Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School Hosts Closing Ceremony

As advancements are on the horizon for the Christian County School District, so are big changes.

One of those changes will happen at the end of this school year with the closing of Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. In a sweeping facilities makeover for the district, Hopkinsville Middle School will be moving to the MLK Jr. location with Indian Hills Elementary moving into the Hoptown Middle building.

Students at MLK Jr. will be zoned to other schools with Pembroke Elementary expected to see the biggest increase.

MLK Jr. Principal, Stephanie Blanton, thanked the former teachers who shaped the lives of students and left an enduring legacy.

Carrie Caples was a school bus driver and teacher who later became the principal of the school. While she is sad to see the school closing, she understands the grand plan of the district.

A tree was planted outside of the building, with Schools Superintendent Chris Bentzel calling it a symbol of several things.

Caples was able to lead the group in her song one final time.

Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School was built in 2006 for $15 million. Located on 62 acres, the property has 40 or so acres available for expansion. The school’s name was approved by a board vote of 3-2. The other name choice was Little River Elementary School.

Classes began in the fall of 2007. With a capacity of 825 students, the school featured 37 classrooms, two labs, a gymnasium, and a cafeteria. It replaced the 650-student capacity of Morningside Elementary and Highland Elementary Schools.

Nine years later, Lacy, Holiday, and Belmont Elementary Schools were closed under a plan spearheaded by then-Superintendent Mary Ann Gimmell. Fifth graders were also moved into the middle schools.

The school board voted last year to return fifth graders to the elementary schools.

The board also approved the district facilities plan to move Indian Hills Elementary School, with a capacity of 520 students, into the Hopkinsville Middle School building with a capacity of 800 students.

The 900 or so Hopkinsville Middle School students will move to the MLK Jr. building, which now has a capacity of nearly 900 students according to the facilities plan.

The Indian Hills Elementary building will become the MLK Early Learning Center and will house the Inspire Learning Academy, preschool, and the district’s Early Learning Services.

The changes are expected to be completed in time for the 2024-25 school year.


A photo gallery from the event is below. 

MLK Closing