KENMORE, NY - On Tuesday night, the Ken-Ton School District voted unanimously to close three schools. District officials say the decision will save money and fill underutilized space. But, the decision also means that come 2016, there will be no schools in the district located in Kenmore.
The board voted to close Kenmore Middle and Roosevelt and Hamilton elementary schools. According to the plan, middle school students would be split between two other existing middle schools. Fifth grade will be part of the middle schools. And eighth grade will be added to existing high schools.
The Ken-Ton school district has been looking to consolidate over the past two years. School district attendance has dropped from 7,700 in 2010 to 6,900 this year -- a loss of about 800 students.
"People need to realize too, that we didn't do this just out of economics. It was because we simply had too many empty seats, and to operate a school district, we need to do so and be responsible to the taxpayers," said Bob Dana, president of the Ken-Ton school board.
"A lot of the frustration comes from there's still so many questions that have to be answered in regards to the scenario that aren't even able to be answered yet," said Samara Hutcheson, a Kenmore parent.
There should be more answers in the future when the district decides on a rezoning plan.
2 On Your Side also heard from the village's deputy mayor Tim McCarthy, who says he doesn't support the decision. Starting in 2016, it's possible that the village may lose some tax relief that it gets from the school district. But, the main concern that McCarthy has is possible job losses.
"I don't see how they can consolidate every teacher, every school aid, cafeteria help and things on that line, so we are going to lose, we will lose people at the work place," McCarthy said.
There's still no word on how many jobs cuts there could be as part of the consolidation. The plan is expected to save about five million dollars each year beginning in 2016.