Tonawanda News

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March 21, 2014

Ken-Ton releases final consolidation report

Tonawanda News — The Ken-Ton School District released its final consolidation study Thursday, and under all of the detailed options, Kenmore Middle School would close. 

The reorganizational effort began a year and a half ago, and aims to save money, even out class sizes and sustain the district in light of decreasing enrollment and declining state aid. The report, which is available online, specifies exactly what schools would close under each of the district’s options. All of the options would close Kenmore Middle School, which was built in 1923. 

“The continuance of three separate middle schools is not feasible in terms of sustainability, and two of the middle schools are more geographically positioned to that population. It is also one of our oldest buildings and the classrooms are undersized according to today’s standards,” the report states. 

Each of the scenarios would keep Holmes open, in direct contradiction to what the district’s consultant recommended. 

“Holmes is actually our newest school and the school district just completed an entire rebuild of its exterior walls and windows,” the report states. The attendance zone of the school is also the only physically separated attendance zone covering the entire west side of our district beyond Military Road.”

Under the first option, grades seven through 12 would report to the district’s two high schools. Kenmore Middle would close and the district would reuse it for offices and educational programs. The Philip Sheridan building and Jefferson would be sold. 

That plan would avoid another redistricting project in the coming years, the report states.

The second option, which was chosen as a focus group’s preferred scenario, would close Hamilton Elementary School and Kenmore Middle School. The remaining elementary schools would be rezoned, and the two high schools would remain as they are.

The closings would be implemented in the 2015-2016 academic year, but more closings would likely be necessary in the next five years.

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