White County School Board Chair Jayson McDonald told the School Board Thursday night the vacant Central View Elementary School is currently being inspected by the fire marshal’s office.
McDonald said the feedback will determine how the school board moves forward with use of the building.
“That took place on election day,” McDonald said. “There was three fire marshals there, Mr. (Kurt) Dronebarger, Mr. (Randy) Alley our Maintenance Director and Custodian Director. They are in the process of writing a report.”
McDonald said the evaluation would show needed repairs to bring the building to code. McDonald has previously said repairing the building would cost several million dollars.
“That report has not been delivered to us yet to share with anybody,” McDonald said. “We don’t know what those findings are at that school at this time.”
McDonald said resident Jerry Kelsey requested that the building was inspected. Kelsey spoke out at the school board meeting as a Central View Resident, continuing a series of a public comments against the school closing.
“Lots of money was spent on Central View before it closed,” Kelsey said. “Why not rezone districts five and six to get those 100 students back into Central View?”
Kelsey questioned the reasons as to why the school closed. Kelsey said he also had concern on how the school board utilized funds saved by closing the elementary school.
“I got this information from the (a local newspaper),” Kelsey said. “April 16th, 2018, Central View School will close at the end of the school year. Closing the Central View school would have saved the school system $1.2 million per year,” Kelsey said. “How did we do that? Rezoning students. 40 to Cassville, 15 to Doyle and 15 to Woodland Park. These saving would fund a SRO at each elementary school.”
“Today the school system should have saved up to $4.8 million. Where is it,” Kelsey said.
School officials in the past have said a lack of student attendance and financial logistics are why the school closed five years ago.
Before Kelsey spoke to the board, School Board Member Bob Young said he objected to Kelsey speaking. Young said Kelsey did not provide a topic of discussion to the board beforehand. Young made a motion to remove Kelsey from the agenda but no action was taken.