Tonawanda News

July 10, 2013

Ken-Ton report released

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The Ken-Ton School District has released its report from a community focus group meeting in June at which members ranked a consultant’s consolidation options. 

The focus group, which was composed of 88 members, met June 8 to go over the options proposed in April. The meeting was one step in the consolidation project, which is aimed at making better use of the district’s many buildings and save tax money.

The group ranked Option G as number one. Under that option, Kenmore Middle School and Holmes would close. 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 ranked option would also close Holmes, Roosevelt and Kenmore Middle, while the third would close Edison, Holmes and Kenmore Middle.

The option that doesn’t close any buildings was ranked fourth.

The focus group also issued general observations and recommendations as part of their daylong meeting June 8.

The group acknowledged that it may be difficult for taxpayers to support all the current schools. The options should be evaluated by how each one could ease taxpayers’ burden, the group said. 

The group also suggested creating a thorough plan for how to protect the asset of a closed school building, and raised a concern about the project’s effects on transportation. 

“The transportation routing should be well thought out and shared with the community with as much specificity as possible before the option is instituted,” the focus group report states.

The process will continue July 23, when the board will hold a special meeting to go over the focus group’s recommendations. The public is invited to the meeting, but no comments will be permitted. 

On July 25, the district will hold a board work session to go over each option in detail. Public comments will be accepted at the second meeting. 

The analysis process will continue into the fall of 2013, and in late 2013, a preliminary analysis report will be issued. The final document will be released in January.

In February 2014, the board will vote on whether to adopt one of the plans.

“Depending on which scenario is voted on to initiate, if any, it is possible that the plan would not be effective until the 2015-2016 school year,” the district’s website states.