by nicole a. elliott Staff writer
TOWN OF TURIN — Members of the South Lewis Central School District Board of Education will make a final decision on the closure of Constableville Elementary for the 2012-13 school year at its next board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
A public hearing on the possible closure will be held at 7 p.m. today at the middle-high school music suite.
Superintendent Douglas E. Premo informed district residents through a written letter last summer that the district was considering the closure due to declining enrollment district-wide and increases in operational costs, while experiencing dramatic reductions in state aid.
An internal study on the closure was conducted and final results will be revealed Jan. 17.
Premo said the ultimate concern came down the minimal space available in the building as opposed to the lack of pupils to fill it. Over the last few years, school enrollment has ranged from 85-95 pupils, he said. As of Jan. 3, enrollment was 90.
In the Constableville building, "there are only six classroom spaces and a couple shared rooms," Premo said. "Our class sizes are low — there’s 10 enrolled in the kindergarten class — so we could definitely take more students. But we don’t have the room for any more teachers. On the other hand, if Constableville closed, we know we’d have the space in Port Leyden and Glenfield to put the students from Constableville because they’re bigger buildings."
Under a proposal Premo presented to the Board of Education on Dec. 20, 44 of the 56 students in kindergarten through grade 3 at Constableville would move to Glenfield, while the rest would go to Port Leyden. That would result in roughly 200 students at the two elementaries, with class sizes ranging from 16 to 23.
Other options considered were doing nothing, housing kindergarten through grade 2 in one elementary building and grades 3 to 5 in another or splitting kindergarten through grade 5 students between Glenfield and Port Leyden.
The move would offer a projected cost savings of $550,000, including $350,000 in staffing reductions and $60,000 in transportation, Premo said.