Massena school superintendent says combining junior, senior high schools would require a building project
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 2:30 pm

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA -- Interim Superintendent William Flynn told the Board of Education on Tuesday that combining the junior and senior high schools will require a building project and there hasn't yet been a cost estimate.

"It would appear it's not going to be simply shutting down one building and moving everyone over," Flynn told the board. "We haven't attached any dollar amount to anything at this point."

The school board formed a committee to explore combining the junior and senior high schools and stacking the elementary schools. Stacking means each grade level would be in one building, rather than spread across three.

The committee has met once since it was formed at an April 3 meeting. They are to report their findings by December, according to the resolution passed that day.

Finance committee chairman Loren Fountaine proposed the idea during the April meeting as a potential means to trim money from future budgets. They will look at such issues such as what building will best suit the consolidated schools’ needs and what staffing they would require.

He believes "there are a lot of savings to be realized," but wants an in-depth look to get at hard facts before any action is taken, he said at the time.

"I think it's a great idea," board trustee Kevin Peretta said April 3. "The real savings are in these types of decisions."

Fountaine noted that the school could drain its fund balance before the end of the decade. They are using $3.5 million of it this year, along with slashing $202,000 from last year's spending blueprint.

"We're in a good place because of our fund reserves. They won't last forever," he said April 3.