Tonawanda News

August 8, 2013

Ken-Ton eyes new consolidation options

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The Ken-Ton school board has charged Superintendent Mark Mondanaro to more closely examine three consolidation scenarios, two of which were thought up by board members and proposed at Tuesday night’s work session. 

The first option was listed in the SES Study Group’s report as scenario G, and was ranked as the number one choice by a focus group of 88 community members that met in early June.

Mondanaro said the board advised him to look at the scenario as a broad plan, and asked that he stay open to closing different schools instead of the ones listed in the SES report.   

“It doesn’t have to be the same exact elementary or middle school,” Mondanaro explained. 

But per the SES report, scenario G would include the closing of Kenmore Middle School and Holmes Elementary. High school students would report to Kenmore East and Kenmore West, while middle school students would go to Franklin and Hoover middle schools. Pre-K through grade five would be served at Franklin, Hamilton, Hoover, Lindbergh and Roosevelt elementary schools.

Scenario G would result in net savings of $1,336,378, consultants predicted.

The second option presented by a board member Tuesday would use both Kenmore West and Kenmore East as a junior high school for grades 7 through 12. Students up to grade six would report to the Hoover and Franklin complexes.

Mondanaro said he was also asked to look at having two other themed elementary schools as well under that option.

“People really like the international baccalaureate program, for example, but it does cost a lot, and it is a very difficult honors program, even at the primary level,” he said. 

The third option includes grouping schools by grade level, with 8 through 12 reporting to the two high schools, Kindergarten through grade 4 at a handful of elementary schools and grades 5 through 7 at the Hoover and Franklin complexes.

All of the proposed scenarios include using both the two high schools, as well as the Hoover and Franklin buildings.

Mondanaro said the administration’s first task, before tackling these scenarios, is to complete a cost benefit analysis of closing the administrative center on Colvin as well as the Philip Sheridan and grounds buildings. 

He said he has received appraisals for all three properties. 

“We are looking into selling one, two or three of them, and where we would put those people and the operations,” Mondanaro said.