Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Although the Ken-Ton school board’s vote to close three schools was met with applause and little opposition Tuesday night, concerns about redistricting still remain and a long road of planning lies ahead.
Per the adopted plan, Hamilton, Roosevelt and Kenmore Middle will close at the end of the 20165-16 school year. Those in fifth grade, sixth grade and seventh grade will attend Franklin and Hoover middle schools. Eighth graders will move up to the two high schools, and pre-K through grade four will be run at the remaining elementary schools, which will be rezoned.
Kenmore Middle would be converted into the district’s administrative building, leaving the present Philip Sheridan Building on Sheridan Drive, which presently houses the district office, to be vacated and eventually sold along with Hamilton and Roosevelt.
The plan is expected to save $4.8 million in the general fund budget for the first year, district officials said, and will result in the reduction of 23.75 full-time teacher positions.
The vote was the culmination of 19 months of work on the project, and throughout the process, many passionate parents said they objected to closures. Now that a plan has been chosen, parents are worried about how redistricting could affect their children, including those students who have already been displaced after Jefferson’s closure at the start of this academic year.
“That’s still a concern,” Superintendent Mark Mondanaro said. “I couldn’t tell you how many kids that will affect.”
And residents in Kenmore are upset that both the schools within village limits — Roosevelt and Kenmore Middle — will close.
“Four or five people have totally and completely changed what we are as a village of Kenmore,” Kenmore Village Improvement Society President Melissa Foster said. “It’s a sad day for Kenmore. To lose something as important as an elementary school ... it is an earth-shaking development for us.”