Despite the angry objections of the majority of the 100 or so in attendance, Keystone Oaks Board of School Directors voted to close Fred L. Aiken and Myrtle Avenue elementary schools to implement a school consolidation plan at a special meeting Thursday.
After presenting nearly 70 pages of their plan, and answering limited questions from the audience, the nine directors voted 5-3 with one abstention.
Voting for the plan were: Dennis Fuga, school board president; Thomas Nee; Marian Randazzo; Robert Brownlee and John Newhaus. Against closing the schools were: Evelyn Weaver, vice-president; Raeann Lindsey and Gary Alward. Robert Lloyd abstained.
Closing two of the district's three remaining elementary schools is the cornerstone of the consolidation plan. Gwen Walker, director of fiscal services/personnel, is projecting savings to the district of approximately $355,000 in operating costs and another $727,247 in personnel costs after implementation in the 2012-13 school year.
This potential savings represents approximately 3 percent of the school district's .
The plan would bus all children in kindergarten through grade four to and send all other students to the combined Keystone Oaks High School and Keystone Oaks Middle School building. There the middle school and high school students would occupy almost completely separate facilities within the schools.
District officials cited declining enrollment and loss of state funding for the need to cut expenses.
Watch Patch for more coverage of the school consolidation plan.