IRVINGTON, N.Y. – A new space utilization study commissioned by the Irvington Union Free School District looks at several possible options, including closing the Main Street School.
School officials say the new study is important because of economic challenges and declining enrollment. The study does not issue any recommendations—school officials say they plan to continue to discuss the findings with the community in the future months.
“Beyond the study’s parameters, I think it’s important to recognize that this exercise is also being driven by the enormous changes we are seeing in instruction, evaluation, and financing of our public schools,” Superintendent Kristopher Harrison said. “Any concrete actions resulting from this will be defined by extensive community discussion, but it’s fair to say that we at least have a baseline of real data to build our conversations around in the coming months.”
The district posted a copy of the study on its website for parents and other community members. The study considers how the district can better implement and deliver its services in the next three years, especially given the new tax cap.
“The Board of Education requested this process because it has an obligation to exercise all due diligence in the long-range planning effort,” Board of Education President Robert Grados said. “Without independent and objective data, we would just be guessing about how to best manage our future.”
Options for consideration in the study provide for a maximum class size of 21 students for grades K through five and 25 students for grades six through 12. It also maintains the district's collaboration and relationship with BOCES.
Several scenarios include selling or renting the Main Street School building, especially given the building's high market value. The study also looked at using the Main Street School for district offices and storage, removing the buildings at Dows Lane. This option, study author Paul Seversky said, would give the school district flexibility in future decades if enrollment increased.
Closing the school would have an “immediate impact” of about $231,517 in savings.
Several scenarios also include a public referendum to renovate existing space at Dows Lane, creating five additional classrooms.
“Detailed planning is necessary to ensure that all public resources are rallied to achieve the very best program possible for student of the district,” Seversky said.
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