BY CHRIS MANNING
The motion was passed to consolidate into one elementary school that will likely be built behind the current Wyalusing Junior-Senior High School. Back on Sept. 23, 2007, the board passed a motion to consolidate the elementary schools into the Wyalusing Elementary School but that was put on hold during a Dec. 3, 200,7 meeting. The new motion rescinds the Sept. 23 motion to consolidate into one building.
Board member Richard Robinson, one of the two who voted against consolidation, said that being a former elementary school principal he has “seen the horrors” of 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds who are forced to have long bus rides. He added that he would work to “make a sad situation” as good as possible. Board President Deb Stethers said that they have to make this a “win, win” situation for all of the children.
After the vote a special consolidation committee gave a small presentation on the timeline and phases of building a whole new elementary school. The committee said that the pre-design phase will take 10 to 12 months, with 18 to 20 months needed for building the facility. Members believe that the building will be in use for the 2011 fall semester.
The committee said that the board should start with land acquisition right away, because it would need full title and rights to settle before it sends out for bids. The committee also said that, if the school district wants to be partially reimbursed by the state, it should wait for state approval of the land or else it could possibly forfeit any reimbursement. If everything goes according to plan, the committee believes that the bids for the project will go out early next summer.
An estimated cost for the project will be presented to the board in the next couple of months, but the committee reiterated that it is by no means “locked in” to that amount.