KENMORE, NY- The Kenmore Village Improvement Society held a meeting Monday to discuss the closures of two Ken-Ton district schools and possibilities for future use of these soon-to-be vacant buildings.
Suggestions from community members included creating a charter school, a community center, a day care center or a small business incubator. There was a lot of support, but also some apprehension about creating a charter school because it would be essentially competing against the current school system.
The idea of creating affordable senior citizen housing was also suggested, but dismissed after considering the high ratio of residential rental units that are already in the Kenmore community. 47 percent of homes in the village of Kenmore are residential rental units.
This meeting also gave community members the opportunity to mourn the loss of the two schools.
"Let's take what is for many of us a very sad day in the village of Kenmore and let's turn it around into something that provides wonderful opportunities," KVIS President Melissa Foster said.
Monday's discussion was mostly focused on Roosevelt Elementary, since Hamilton Elementary is located in Tonawanda and the school board already has plans for Kenmore Middle School to become an administrative building.
Community members agreed they really just don't want to see the properties abandoned for years.
"Almost everyone embraced going ahead and actively making this a real plus for our community," Foster said.
The school board will be meeting with the KVIS to discuss how they plan to move forward. Ultimately, the board will have all the legal power in deciding the fates of Roosevelt and Hamilton, but KVIS felt it was important to have residents be a part of the brainstorming process.