BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) - Late Thursday afternoon, Superintendent Tim Saxton announced a plan to realign the Boardman School District. The biggest change would be closing Market Street Elementary at the end of the school year.
No action has been taken but Saxton said it's been discussed for decades. The school board thinks now is the time to move forward with that plan.
"We have teachers that have probably been in their class for 20 to 25 years. That's tough, and I respect that and I understand that so we've got to work through that," Saxton said.
He said Market Street was chosen as the school to close because it's the most in need of repairs and it's the second smallest elementary school in Boardman, making it easier to distribute students to other buildings.
If it closes, the building will be sold. By law, it would have to be auctioned.
Saxton said the realignment would save Boardman Schools half a million dollars each year but saving money is not the only -- nor greatest -- benefit.
"This is going to provide better academic services to all kids," he said.
Stadium Drive Elementary, Robinwood Elementary and West Boulevard Elementary would all become K-3 schools to make room for Market Street's students.
The fourth graders, which are now in the elementary schools, would go to Center Intermediate, which would become a fourth through sixth grade school.
No teachers would be laid off but the district might let some janitors go.
"Our building footprint's a little smaller so we have less to clean, less to maintain," Saxton said. "So there could be, potentially, some positions eliminated in our classified staff."
Saxton said the realignment would provide greater availability for support and counseling services, intervention services for kids struggling in reading and math, and earlier access to art and music.
He said it would not increase class sizes and could help with transportation and scheduling issues.
The district is asking for parent input. There will be a meeting about the realignment issue on Thursday, January 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.
No final decisions have been made. The Boardman Board of Education is expected to decide at its January 28 meeting.