(BEDFORD) - The North Lawrence Community Schools Board voted Thursday to close Englewood School even after hearing emotional pleas to keep the school open.
About 25 people attended the meeting and about a dozen spoke to keep the school open.
But when all was said and done, the school board voted 5-2 to shift the special needs students to classrooms at Stalker Elementary School and Bedford North Lawrence High School at the beginning of the new school year. Teachers and other staff members at Englewood will make the move with the students.
School Board members Brad Flinn, Scott Gillespie, Tracy Bailey, Larry Arnold and Kirsten Collier voted to approve the plan while members Gary Holmes and Donnie Branham voted against the measure.
The costs of maintaining the school factored into the administration's proposal to close the bulding. NL Superintendent Gary Conner says the building needs "significant remediation" just to remain in compliance with state and federal accessibility requirements and that making the needed changes would be "cost-prohibitive."
Conner stressed that, with less money coming to the school system, cuts have to be made and if the system continues on its current path without making any "corrections" to the budget, NL will be a million dollars in the red by the end of the year.
But he also assured parents that programming will not suffer when students move to other other facilities. And he assured parents that whatever expenditures are needed to make the facilities properly serve the students will be made.
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