Most of board favors closing Kellogg school
By Patricia Breakey
Delhi News Bureau
DELHI _ A majority of members of the Delhi Central School Board approved closing A.L. Kellogg Elementary School at a regularly scheduled meeting Monday, but no final decision has been made, board member Wayne Oliver said Tuesday.
"We had a discussion to determine how many board members were interested in moving the children from the Kellogg school into the Delhi elementary school for the 2006-2007 school year," Oliver said.
"Five board members preferred moving the children, and two did not," he said. "Nothing official will be decided until the Nov. 27 meeting."
Oliver said that board members Ramona Plance and Jeanne Walsh, who live in Treadwell, opposed moving the children. The other board members, including Oliver, Thomas Flanders, Jim Ellis, Glenn Nealis and Nancy Deming, were in favor of the move.
Oliver said the members formed their opinions based on declining school enrollment and the results of a study done by the Advisory Committee regarding A. L. Kellogg Building Utilization, appointed by the Board of Education in August 2005. The committee held six public meetings over the fall and winter and filed its report April 24.
Nancy Deming, committee chairwoman, said previously that the group gathered information on both sides of closing the school.
Debbie Tuthill, of Treadwell, said she was one of about 70 people who attended the school board meeting Monday.
"A lot of the community members made public comments," Tuthill said. "The community is interested in making sure that the Kellogg funds are protected."
Tuthill said the use of trust money left to the Treadwell school by the late Judge A.L. Kellogg will now be determined by the state Attorney General.
"The community is devastated," Tuthill said. "They feel they have lost a huge chunk of their identity and that they have no say in anything. The decision is basically out of the voter’s hands."
Tuthill said the Treadwell community members plan to hold a meeting in a couple of weeks to continue to fight for the school and perhaps officially organize.
Oliver said the board is aware that the issue is very emotional.
"Treadwell is a small community, and the school is an important part of it," Oliver said. "This isn’t easy for anyone."
Oliver added that the Kellogg school is a great facility, and the school board plans to find a way to use it.
Flanders said Tuesday, "A consensus was reached, and the school attorney is drafting a resolution. We have been keeping the attorney general updated throughout the entire process."
Flanders said the decision is based on declining enrollment.
"The board wants to provide the best education possible for the students, but we must also keep the best interests of the taxpayers in mind," Flanders said.
Delhi Superintendent John Mulholland and school board members Nancy Deming and Ramona Plance did not return phone messages.
Treadwell NY Home