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December 3, 2013

Facilities Utilization Advisory Committee presents three configuration options to the Board of Education

After five months of work, the Facilities Utilization Advisory Committee has recommended three proposed configuration options for the Board of Education to consider. Members of the committee presented the committee's final report to the Board at its December 3 meeting.

The committee was formed by the Board in the spring of 2013. It was charged with investigating and planning for future building and grade-level configurations suitable for meeting student program needs through 2018. The district is projecting budget gaps in the coming years. Enrollment at each elementary and middle school is below capacity by varying degrees.

The 39-member facilities committee included parents, students, community members, teachers, and administrators, with representation from all eight buildings in the district. The committee completed an in-depth review of six configuration options at its final meeting on October 28, and from there narrowed the list to three proposed options it believes the Board should consider. These options, which scored the highest in the committee's analysis, are:

  • Consolidate five elementary schools into four; No change to middle school configuration (two, 6-8 buildings).
  • Consolidate five elementary schools into four, K-4 schools; 5th and 6th grade attend Van Antwerp; 7th and 8th grade attend Iroquois.
  • Create a middle school campus with 6th grade at Rosendale and 7th and 8th grade at Iroquois; Close Van Antwerp.

Moving forward with any of these options would require some level of redistricting, or redrawing school boundaries. The committee's review was focused on possibilities for implementation next year, 2014-15.

The committee's recommendations with respect to the configuration options are advisory in nature. Final decision-making authority rests with the Board.

The committee is also strongly recommending that the Board pursue additional avenues to generate revenue.

The committee agreed that if a building is closed, the Board should develop a plan to use the vacated space to generate revenue for the district.