Closure of SGES advances

Sugar Grove Elementary School is now officially on its way out.

While it has been expected for quite some time that SGES would close after the current school year, the Physical Plant and Facilities Committee of the Warren County School District’s board of directors moved one step closer to that end during committee meetings on Monday evening at the Warren County Career Center.

According to the language of the proposed motion, forwarded to the full board for action at its March meeting, “The Board of School Directors hereby orders the closure of Sugar Grove Elementary School due to the declining enrollment within the District and in order to implement the September 2008 Warren County School District Master Facilities Plan, as amended.”

WCSD Buildings and Grounds Director Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht said that the motion is coming forward now to be “in compliance with (the) myriad of state laws and requirements.”

Kennerknecht said that the closure will be effective Aug. 22.

Board member Tom Knapp asked Kennerknecht if the Eisenhower renovations will be complete in time for the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

“Yes, it will be ready,” he said.

In addition to the closure resolution, the committee forwarded two additional resolutions in the same vein.

One formally reassigns the students at SGES to the Eisenhower K-12 school, commencing with the 2014-2015 school year.

The other reassigns students from Russell Elementary School to the Eisenhower complex, and also initiates “relocating Central Office to Russell Elementary School, with the understanding that the building shall cease operating as Russell Elementary School on June 30, 2014, and shall commence operating as Central Office on July 1, 2014.”

Board member Mary Anne Paris pressed the administration for answers regarding the cost of moving to Russell, including the percent of the building and what, if any, architectural changes that might need to be made to accommodate the central office.

Kennerknecht said that the district has completed drawings showing how the different departments would fit in the building but “haven’t gotten into who will be in what office.”

He added that the district has “a generalized scheme of what the department heads have for space and it will use the entire (building).”

While total cost for the move has yet to be determined, Kennerknecht said that the rental agreements the district has on the Warren State Hospital grounds total $150,000 annually.

“As we move further long, I can present those numbers to you,” he said.

Knapp asked when the layout of central office might be available. Kennerknecht said such a layout will be brought to the committee’s March meeting.