Community Meeting on Building Consolidation and Closure Study
On December 11, Dr. Paul Seversky of Advisory Solutions will meet with district staff at 4 p.m. -- and with the community at 6:30 p.m. -- in the Columbia High School auditorium to present the findings from the building consolidation and closure study. The study, commissioned by the Board of Education in October of 2011, will provide the community with cost-saving options for future consideration.
The Board of Education and the superintendent engaged this study to help answer the question: Are there options to current practice that might provide more efficient ways to organize how the grades K-5 program is implemented and delivered in the future?
Superintendent Dr. Angela Nagle noted, “It’s important for the community to understand that Dr. Seversky will be presenting options for them to consider. No decision on closing any building has been made.”
In the coming months, an advisory committee -- which will include volunteers from all five elementary schools -- will be formed to carefully review the findings. The advisory committee will meet with Dr. Seversky to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each option. Ultimately, they will be charged with the task of making a recommendation to the Board -- which could include a recommendation to sustain the educational program in its current configuration.
The closure and consolidation study was conducted over the last several months by Dr. Seversky. It began with a review of the annual Enrollment Projection and School Capacity Report, which provided baseline data on the number of students enrolled in each school, compared to the capacity of each school building.
After reviewing the report, Dr. Seversky visited the five elementary schools to gain full understanding of the master schedules, the resources, and the unique needs of each building. He also met with the superintendent, district administrators and building principals to learn the short-term and long-term objectives for the delivery of educational programming in the existing facilities.
“Over the last three years, we have experienced reduced state aid along with a declining enrollment,” Dr. Nagle explained. “The restrictions brought on by the state’s tax levy cap limit our ability to raise revenue. This study will provide us with options for the community to consider that will ensure students receive a broad and deep educational program, while realizing financial savings.”
The staff and community are encouraged to attend their respective meetings.
To view Dr. Seversky’s report click here.