Two weeks after announcing the possible repurposing of Lovejoy Elementary, the school board decided to convert Lovejoy Elementary to an early childhood campus yesterday.
“I think it’s a really difficult decision,” sophomore Paige Young said. “I don’t necessarily support it because my sisters go there. We would have to drive really out of our way, and they really enjoy where they’ve grown up.”
Lovejoy Elementary students will be moving to Puster Elementary and Hart Elementary school next semester.
“We move here for quality of life and schools are part of that quality of life,” parent Tom Arsenault said. “You’re adding 120 to 150 cars going to Puster, and 120 to 150 cars going to Hart. We’re going to be sitting in our cars for an hour and a half to two hours every single day. That’s not quality of life.”
The school board opted for a plan keeping Hart and Puster K-4 campuses, instead of one campus being K-2, and one campus being 3-4. One of the reasons cited by the school board was logistical difficulties involving transportation.
“I think it’s kind of weird,” sophomore Chloe Schaeffer said. “It’s just going to be different. I grew up riding my bike to school there. It’s going to be harder for everyone in Stacy Ridge to get to wherever their new school is.”
The conversion to two K-4 campuses is estimated to save the district $1,290,703. This is paired with other budget suggestions such as a regular transportation fee of $350 for students using the bus (excluding special education).
“Those students [pre school special needs students], as well as our employee daycare, private pre-K and pre-K program will be consolidated to Lovejoy Elementary,” interim superintendent Dr. Dennis Womack said. “This would allow us to close our portable buildings which are our least efficient buildings to run.”
Teaching staff at Lovejoy Elementary will have the opportunity to take a different position in the district.
“I know our school board realizes, and I know the administration realizes, that this is a major impact to people,” Womack said. “However, the quality of instruction, regardless of where the building is set, will continue. So whether it’s Puster or Hart, the same teachers will be there, the same programs will be there, and the same quality of instruction will be there.”