By Sandra Haschemeyer
The Meredosia-Chambersburg Board of Education took no action on a proposal to close the elementary school in Meredosia and move those students to the high school building during a meeting held April 2.
The board will go back to the drawing board, Superintendent Ron Gilbert said, and consider all possibilities before making any decisions. Regarding a restructuring plan, there are many factors to consider such as facility repairs, age of the building, and how feasible it is to have all students under one roof. There is space available at the high school, but renovations will be needed to make it work better, Gilbert said.
The elementary building has 137 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. There are 106 students in grades 6-12.
The board recently held an informational meeting with input received from the community and teachers. Gilbert noted there were concerns about younger students in the same building with older students, although the two groups would each have their own designated areas.
There is a lot of information for the board to absorb and consider, Gilbert said. The board will revisit the various options.
Besides closing the elementary school, other alternatives are available such as a tax referendum, deactivation and consolidation. Deactivation would mean entering into an agreement with another district to send students from certain grades to another district for a specified amount of time. At the end of the agreement the board could decide to renew the agreement or pull the students out of that district.
"We're not at the end of the rope," Gilbert said, but just trying to look ahead in the wake of the state's financial issues. The state has not provided any definite figures; it could provide funding at 88.9% or it could lower the rate, Gilbert said. Districts have been warned by legislatures from two sessions, he said, to "prepare for the worst and hope for the best."