Massena school board to look at combining junior and senior high, elementary 'stacking'
Friday, April 4, 2014 - 2:34 pm

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA -- The Massena Central School District's Board of Education is looking at the possibility of merging the junior and senior high into one building and so-called elementary "stacking," meaning putting each grade level in one building, rather than spread across three.

The board unanimously passed a resolution that forms a committee to "study the budgetary impact of potential consolidation" of the high schools and elementary stacking. It will include administrators from the junior and senior high schools, a board member, a community member and the superintendent. They may add more.

They are to report back to the board with their findings by December.

Finance committee chairman Loren Fountaine proposed the idea during an April 3 budget work session 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.

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

Fountaine brought up the idea during a budget session where it was revealed that the school could drain the fund balance before the end of the decade. They are looking at using $3.5 million of it this year, along with slashing $200,000 from last year's spending blueprint.

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