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Seven Oaks Will No Longer Allow Military Training On School Property

Officials say the training resulted in at least 10 windows being broken and boarded up. (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

Leaders at Seven Oaks Classical School in Ellettsville say they will no longer allow military training to take place on campus. The decision comes after Army rangers trained in an unused building at the school a couple weeks ago and caused substantial damage.

Seven Oaks Board Member Terry English says the training resulted in at least 10 windows being broken and boarded up.

"I think the training exercises they engaged in were substantially beyond what the administration of Seven Oaks believed they were going to do," English says.

English says the Army training also damaged doors and left explosive residue inside the building.

In a statement, the school administration apologized to the surrounding community for failing to send out an alert in advance of the training exercises. The statement says school officials had received guarantees that the training would not be disruptive, but some worried homeowners contacted police because of the loud blasts.

"The decision to allow the training exercises at the school after school hours was made out of a desire to be good citizens and partners with our local law enforcement and military communities," the statement says. "Additionally, the decision was made with the understanding that residents would be informed by those running the exercise before training proceeded."

According to English, an agreement between the school and a government contractor stipulated Seven Oaks had five days to report any damage. It also says the government contractor will negotiate a settlement within 15 days of that notification.

English says he hopes to see, at minimum, the windows repaired. But he also remains concerned that most of the school board members were unaware of the training.

"I just think we all would have like to have known, and putting more policies [in place] that will allow everyone that’s supposed to be part of the process to be let in on the process," he says.

English says school leaders have hoped to potentially renovate the building that was used for the training sometime in the near future. He says enrollment has grown each year and the school will eventually need more classroom space. 

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