The question about whether to close one of Southborough’s four schools is not a new one. While school enrollment has been decreasing over the past several years, the K-8 school committee maintains it’s not feasible to consolidate students into three schools. But one Southborough resident says it’s time to take another look at the numbers.
In a presentation to the Advisory Committee last night, Al Hamilton, himself a former Advisory Committee member, said enrollment data he compiled suggests a “substantial downward trend in school populations” over the next decade. According to census data, Hamilton said enrollment will likely decrease by 35 to 40 percent by 2020.
Hamilton suggested the district should close Woodward and return it to municipal use. Moving the Senior Center, Arts Center, cable TV operations, and other municipal groups into Woodward would allow the town to sell off older buildings and then use the proceeds to fund school operations, he said.
You can read more about last night’s discussion on consolidating school buildings in this article by the Metrowest Daily News. Want to take a look at the numbers for yourself? Here’s a link to Hamilton’s presentation (PDF). You might also want to check out the enrollment projection report (PDF) recently compiled by the school district.
So, what do you think? Is it time to take a serious look at closing one of the schools? Or are you not convinced?