Baldwinsville considering closing a school to save money

The Baldwinsville Central School District is one of several local districts that may have to make tough decisions in the face of budget gaps.

Baldwinsville will likely face a $4 million budget gap next year. School officials knew this was going to be another difficult budget to balance, so they started the process much earlier this year.

"I'm familiar with the situation and it's not a good situation. We are facing hard economic times," said parent Rebecca McClain.

In light of the multi-million dollar shortfall, the district needs to find ways to save. One of the options being considered is closing one of the elementary schools. The move could save more than $1 million. A committee has narrowed the choices down to Elden Elementary School or Van Buren Elementary School. Those are the oldest buildings of the district's five elementary schools.

Jennifer Pinti has one child at Van Buren right now, and hopes her other two will go there as well. She hopes the board takes the time to look at all the options.

"I love the administration there (at Van Buren), I love the parents at the school. It's going to really impact our kids and I just don't want them to make a hasty decision," she said.

District officials say the district is also facing a declining enrollment in elementary schools, which is something that has been seen in schools across Central New York. But even if a school closes, it's only part of a large gap that needs to be filled.

"You still have to get those cuts from somewhere else. So is it going to be programs? Are we going to be looking at class sizes? Or the number of electives we offer?" said Superintendent Jeanne Dangle.

The school budget is not due until May, before taxpayers head to the polls to vote on it.