Board votes to shut down Alpine school

Members of the Alpine Elementary School Board voted recently to shut down Alpine elementary as a cost cutting measure.

The Alpine Union School Dis­trict Board of Trustees voted 4-1 March 19 in a special board meeting to permanently shutter the doors of Alpine Elementary School at the close of the cur­rent school year on June 13.

The school currently serves 165 students in grades 1-5; those students would potentially transfer to Boulder Oaks Ele­mentary School beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

“There’s an approximate cost savings in year one. Some of that is through employees, some of that is utility savings, and then some of it would be in arbitrage based on losing some of the Title I funds for the school, al­though Title I funds for the kids always still transfer,” said board member Travis Lyon.

Superintendent Rich New­man said the district would save $232,836.32 in the 2019-20 school year.

Board member Eric Wray said that the district currently could not continue operating the way it has been.

“I’ve been telling community members over the past week that the way I see this going is that Alpine Elementary or some campus has to close because we cannot afford all the programs, taking care of our kids and tak­ing care of our staff. There’s on­ly a certain amount of money in the pie. We have to keep adjust­ing accordingly,” he said.

Wray and Lyon repeatedly justified the closure by saying a consolidated pool of funds could be more effectively distributed for future programming if dedi­cated to one student population.

The decision to close Alpine Elementary was one of several proposed school site reconfigurations that would have poten­tially affected all the district. Parents, teachers, and com­munity members were invited to provide input on site options over the past year; last night saw the Board of Trustees deliver the final vote to close AES.

Board member Joe Perricone emphasized that AES, built in 1952, has intangible value in addition to serving as an educa­tional facility.

“I’ve talked to the business community and the communi­ty at large and if we close that school, we’re going to be admit­ting that the best days are past,” Perricone said.

Board members Eric Wray, Travis Lyon, Al Guerra and Glenn Dickie voted in favor of closing the school while Joseph Perricone voted in opposition.

Alpine Elementary school principal Travis Wall would not comment for this story.

Board votes to shut down Alpine school

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