I am not a graduate of either Hickman Mills or Ruskin, but I do know what it is like to have your school threatened with closure. My school in Vermont has experienced the same factors, only smaller: Two town businesses shut down, and enrollment has been declining over the years. (Vermont is actually a very old state population-wise, with a median age in the top five in the US.) If my school were to close, it would hurt, but I also know that it is the right thing to do; carrying the school will burden the people with taxes and hurt the town. For my high school, in my opinion, it is only a matter of time before it is closed. Unfortunately, Hickman Mills C-1 is in the same boat as my hometown school; lower enrollment, closed businesses/decreased income. It looks like the nasty demographic and financial writing is on the wall; one school will close. Which one will close? I have to leave that to the school board; they know more about which school is functioning at a higher level, or would be easier to close, or easier to repurpose, or a thousand other factors that they have to consider. (I would be willing to bet that a few on the school board are thinking to themselves, "I did not sign up for this.") One thing I do know: one group on Facebook is going to be very disappointed after the decision is made.
The Kansas City Star article: "Feelings run deep as district mulls fates of Ruskin, Hickman Mills high schools" Read the comments on the article too. The most intriguing one? The one about marching on the central office to ask about costs. The scariest one? The one speculating that merging the school populations might result in trouble.