No matter what scenario Ken-Ton picks, middle school will close

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Thursday afternoon, the Kenmore-Tonawanda School District released its final consolidation report, detailing four scenarios that the Board of Education could choose from to shape the future of the district.

No matter which scenarios board members choose, some things are clear: Kenmore Middle School will be closed, and the district will sell the Philip Sheridan and Jefferson Elementary buildings. Also, at least one elementary school will close and the entire school district will undergo redistricting to reconfigure which students attend which schools.

Holmes Elementary, which previously had been targeted for possible closure, will be staying open. The district changed course because it says Holmes Elementary is unique and has a geographically separate position, serving all residents of the district West of Military Road.”

“The breadth of scenarios covers every possible instance that could happen in terms of improving in the mid to long range student opportunity in the district and finances in the district at the same time,” said Ken-Ton Superintendent Mark Mondanaro. “We did as much or more reorganizing actually than we did closing. Yes, there are some closures that are suggested. We are very undercapacitated.”

With Kenmore Middle School closing, the plan is to use the building for other purposes, such as administrative offices, while taking middle school students to the high school building and creating a 7-12 school.

“I think it’s very hard on the kids and the parents especially when they have everything so well established already,” said grandparent Rose Marie Schulz.

“I just want to see them do the right thing, consolidate the right schools. That’s all. I hope they’re ambitious with it,” said Kenmore Middle School parent Donald Kirisits

Officials said in a statement, “The scenarios that save the most money also suggest the most student program enhancements while maintaining neighborhood elementary schools in the northern, southern, eastern, western, and center geographic sections of the school district, additionally increasing elementary square footage learning space while improving our secondary per pupil capacity building usage at the same time.”

Each of the scenarios could save the district between $3.7 million to $6.5 million in the first year. And the $2 million from the sale of the buildings would be placed in the district’s reserve fund. But none of these changes will happen until the 2015-2016 school year, at the earliest.

Though each scenario contains a significant amount of detail on what other actions would take place, such as staffing levels and more, here are the basics of which schools would close depending on which scenario is chosen. You can read the full report by clicking here, but be aware the document is 183 pages long. The scenario reports begin on Page 137.

Scenario 1:

  • Close Hamilton Elementary
  • Close Kenmore Middle School
  • Redistrict

Scenario 2:

  • Close Hamilton Elementary
  • Close Roosevelt Elementary
  • Close Kenmore Middle School
  • Redistrict

Scenario 3:

  • Close Roosevelt Elementary
  • Close Edison Elementary
  • Close Kenmore Middle School
  • Redistrict

Scenario 4:

  • Close Roosevelt Elementary
  • Close Edison Elementary
  • Close Kenmore Middle School
  • Redistrict

This report is the final report from a consultant team hired by the district 19 months ago to come up with various options for consolidating and saving money. The report will be discussed at public forums on March 27 in Hoover Middle School’s auditorium and on March 31 in Kenmore East High School’s auditorium. There will be two meetings at each location, one at 4 p.m. and another at 7 p.m.

Superintendent Mark Mondanaro will be on hand to address questions from staff and residents.

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