Plan to Close Several Pickens Elementary Schools Under Debate

Students of several Pickens County Elementary Schools could soon be merging with other schools in the area.

Monday night, a public meeting was held on a proposed plan to close three schools.  Some are for the idea, while others are against it; including some board members.

Studies show Pickens County Elementary Schools have decreased more than 350 students since 2000 and some board members say it’s time to consolidate.

The proposed plan suggests closing A. R. Lewis, Holly Springs, and Ambler Elementary Schools.

Those students would be sent to either Hagood, Pickens Elementary, Dacusville Elementary or Dacusville Middle School, depending on your school and grade.

Board member Alex Saitta says a lot of money went into making the three schools bigger and more suitable for the students and it’d be a shame to throw it all away.

“Nearly 10 million dollars on those three schools to totally renovate them, add classrooms to them.  Now to actually turn around and close them would be a complete waste of money,” says Saitta.

On the other hand, District spokesperson John Eby says consolidating the schools would save over 11 million dollars in 5 years.

He also says, it’s what’s best for the kids too. Larger schools mean a larger staff, and more people to give your child the attention they need.

“So they could put in a program for reading recovery, at a larger school where they have more flexibility because they have more teachers that a smaller school might not be able to offer,” says Eby

Eby says by merging the schools, students would be able to take part in more after school activities too.

“When you have a very small school, you don’t get the numbers of students to sometimes fuel certain extra-curricular programs.  At a larger school, you have that.”

But whether the merger actually happens is still being debated.

You can view the proposed plan here.

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