New Harmony Town and Township Consolidated Schools

New Harmony Town and Township Consolidated Schools was a school district headquartered in New Harmony, Indiana. It operated one school,[1] New Harmony School, with grades Kindergarten through 12.[2]

The district, in Posey County, included New Harmony,[3] as well as Harmony Township.



The school in New Harmony opened in 1877.[4] The school was created as part of a means of establishing a utopia.[5] One principle in the utopia was that male and female students should receive the same education.[6]

A school building opened in 1913. In 1945 an addition opened, and two more were placed in 1952 and 1954.[7] The addition planned in 1952 had second floor restrooms and two classrooms built.[8]

In the 1960s, various Indiana school districts merged into one another. The residents of New Harmony decided not to consolidate and opposed such efforts. In 1987, only 24 other school districts in the state had not merged or been acquired by another. The school was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools until the 1960s, but it remained accredited by the State of Indiana as of 1987.[7]

The final school facility opened in 1987. The facility had a cost of $3,100,000. Historic New Harmony Inc. gave the land to the school district, Gove Associates designed the building, and Industrial Contractors and Peyronnin Construction constructed the facility. The new school building resulted in tax increases. People in the area donated items to decorate and supply the school. The district had plans to sell and/or give away its previous facilities.[7]

In 1987, the student count was 250, with 98 of those students in high school, and the teacher count was 21. This resulted in class sizes which would give each and all grade levels class sizes under "Primetime," a state of Indiana initiative to lower class sizes that only applied to grades Kindergarten through 3.[7] There were 23 students in the graduating class of the 1987-1988 school year.[9] Of the 305 school districts in Indiana, New Harmony ranked 300 in terms of student count.[7]

By 2012 the State of Indiana changed how it sent money to individual schools and allotted the money by the number of students present.[9] By January 2012, this resulted in the state sending 30% less funding.[2] Additionally, it had decreasing numbers of students as there were fewer children in New Harmony.[9] There were 137 students total circa December 2011 and an anticipated enrollment count of about 107 for the 2012–2013 school year.[10] Fran Thoele was the final superintendent of the school district.[9]

In December 2011, the board of education chose to close the K-12 school,[10] and to merge into the Metropolitan School District of North Posey County; the board of education of that district agreed to absorb New Harmony.[11] North Posey High School absorbed the high school students.

The council for the town of New Harmony paid $10 and acquired the school building.[9] In 2019, an individual acquired the school building from the town council for $125,000 and stated a desire to preserve its historical character.[1]


Ribeyre School Gymnasium, which served as a gymnasium in the pre-1987 school

The 1987 campus had 55,000 square feet (5,100 m2) of space on 25 acres (10 ha) of property, with 22 classrooms and a 1,000-person gymnasium. In 1987 the facility did not have a dedicated auditorium, but one could be improvised as the music room and cafeteria had a corridor between them. The gymnasium had the dimensions 80 feet (24 m) by 50 feet (15 m).[7]

A pre-1987 gymnasium was the Ribeyre Gymnasium,[12] which opened in 1924.[13] By 2024 the facility had a renovation worth $1,000,000, and became a part of the Ribeyre Center, used for special events.[14]



The sports mascot was the Rappites.[12]



In 1987 the school had Spanish as a foreign language classes. There were plans to have classes related to one other language by circa 1989.[7]


  1. ^ a b Martin, Josh T. (2019-03-19). "Old vacant school in New Harmony has a new owner who vows to preserve it". Courier & Press. Retrieved 2024-06-12.
  2. ^ a b Skirvin, Ben (2012-01-11). "One Of The Oldest School Districts In Indiana Closes Due To Funding Cuts". Indiana Public Media. Retrieved 2024-06-11.
  3. ^ "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Posey County, IN" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2024-06-11. - Text list
  4. ^ "Home". New Harmony Town and Township Consolidated Schools. Archived from the original on 1998-02-04. Retrieved 2024-06-12.
  5. ^ Skirvin, Ben (2012-01-12). "StateImpact Indiana: New Harmony closes". Indiana Public Radio. Retrieved 2024-06-12.
  6. ^ Grocke, Vicky L. "EDUCATION IN NEW HARMONY,INDIANA". University of Notre Dame. Retrieved 2024-06-12.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Wersich, Carol; Marynell, Herb (1987-05-17). "The little town that saved its school". Courier & Press. Evansville, Indiana. pp. A1, A6 (Detail view 1 and Detail view 2) – via
  8. ^ "Board Accepts Bid on School Addition". Evansville Press. Evansville, Indiana. 1952-06-14. p. 9 – via
  9. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Mark (2022-01-20). "New Harmony keeps school's memory alive 10 years after emotional decision to close it". Courier & Press. Retrieved 2024-06-12.
  10. ^ a b "New Harmony School to close doors & consolidate". WFIE (14 News). 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2024-06-11.
  11. ^ "Decision finalized to merge Hew Harmony and N. Posey". WFIE (14 News). 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2024-06-11.
  12. ^ a b "Wedding Receptions". Visit Posey County. Retrieved 2024-06-12.
  13. ^ "Old Ribeyre gymnasium in New Harmony, Indiana". University of Southern Indiana. Retrieved 2024-06-12.
  14. ^ "Ribeyre Center". Visit New Harmony. New Harmony Business Associates, Inc. 20 May 2020. Retrieved 2024-06-12.