SCBOE talks possible school closure scenarios

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Selma City School Board of Education (SCBOE) discussed the possible school closure scenarios that Selma City School Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams presented.

Williams said these scenarios had been in the works for the past few months, and were composed by a group that included school system employees.

Williams reiterated to the board these plans are all in the early stages, and that no recommendation has been made by her for the board to vote on.

The first possible scenario shows three schools closing: The School of Discovery, Byrd First Class Early Learning Center and Cedar Park Elementary.

S.P. Kingston Elementary would be consolidated with Clark Elementary, School of Discovery would relocate to create the S.P. Kingston School of Discovery.

Pre-K centers would be located at Edgewood and Meadowview Elementary Schools.

Cedar Park and Edgewood Elementary Schools also would be consolidated.

This scenario has all of this consolidation and movement happening in the 2019-2020 school year.

Scenario two has the same three schools closing, but with different student placement and relocation.

School of Discovery fifth-graders would remain at their elementary school for sixth-grade for the 2019-2020 schools. All elementary schools would become kindergarten through sixth-grade schools.

Byrd First Class Early Learning Center will be relocated to Kingston, Meadowview and Knox with open enrollment based on available space.

Cedar Park will be consolidated to Edgewood Elementary.

Scenario three still has the same schools closing as the others, but this entire transition would continue over to the 2020 – 2021 school year.

Byrd First Class Early Learning Center and Cedar Park Elementary would close in the 2019-2020 school year.

Cedar Park would be consolidated to Edgewood Elementary School.

The School of Discovery would close the 2020-2021 school year.

Fifth-grade students would remain at their elementary school for sixth-grade making all elementary schools become kindergarten through sixth-grade schools.

Pre-K Center would be located at Knox Elementary or Clark Elementary or both.

The fourth scenario has School of Discovery, Byrd First Class Early Learning Center, Cedar Park Elementary School and Payne Elementary School closing.

Byrd and Cedar Park would close in the 2019-2020 school year.

Cedar Park would be consolidated to Edgewood Elementary.

The Pre-K Center would be located at Knox Elementary and Clark Elementary or both.

The School of Discovery will close the 2020-2021 school year.

Fifth-grade students will remain at their elementary school for sixth-grade. In the 2020-2021 school year, all elementary schools would become kindergarten through sixth-grade schools.

Payne Elementary would be closed and rezoned to Payne and Kingston Elementary in the 2020-2021 school year.

There were many factors that played into the decisions the group made for each school.

For example, Cedar Park is within one mile of Edgewood Elementary. Part of the roof leaks at Cedar Park, which would cost an estimated $550,000 to replace this flat roof.

Structural concerns are a factor that include mold and mildew.

There is declining enrollment, according to the presentation from Williams, and there is only one teacher per grade level, which means a lack of collaboration.

Walls between the classrooms are not solid, and there is an antiquated boiler and chiller system.

Payne Elementary is within one mile of Clark Elementary, and has overlapping school zones.

Williams said there also is declining enrollment in Payne as well. A new roof also is needed, and an estimated $155,000 is needed to repair three roofs at the school.

There are structural and HVAC concerns at the school, as well.

The School of Discovery’s main problem is that it is the most expensive school to operate when it comes to utilities.

A new roof is needed, which would cost an estimated $210,000 to replace.

Williams said there are major electrical concerns due to moisture from the roof leaks.

There are also structural concerns and accessibility concerns, and an antiquated boiler and chiller system.

Williams also told the board there is an option to not close any schools, but to then make the necessary renovations to keep the schools up to date.

Williams also said that “time is not the board’s friend” if one of the scenarios involving just the upcoming school year is included.

Public input meetings will be announced at a later date after further discussion at next month’s school board meeting.