Liverpool School District considers closing an elementary school

Soule Road schools

Monday night, the Liverpool School Board heard a proposal that could bring some big changes to the district.

The Building Utilization Committee is recommending closing an elementary school and then shifting some grades to other schools to balance student enrollment.

"We're looking at the possibility," said School Board President Patricia DeBona-Rosier. "If you never change anything the chances of things getting better are that much less."

The committee is not saying which elementary school should close, that would be up to the board. But it does rule out Chestnut, Liverpool and Soule Road Elementary because they're all attached to middle schools.

Under the recommendations, all the elementary schools would become grades K-5 and the middle schools would be 6-8.

The annex, which now teaches just 9th graders, would become a middle school. School officials say that's what that building was originally supposed to be when it was built.

But shuffling students around does have some parents concerned. "Redistricting is needed I think we need to watch the enrollment and look to close a school" said Sharon Yager. "But now is not the time the numbers are too high to close a building."

If approved, the upfront cost to the district could be around $8 million. But school officials could also alter the proposal, and cut down that cost. Most of it could be paid for through bonds. The recommendation could also lead to long-term savings because closing a school could save the district hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

The board now has to review the recommendations. It plans to talk about the proposal again at the next board meeting on June 3.