June 17 vote set on Nippenose school closing

JERSEY SHORE – After discussing the possibility of closing Nippenose Valley Elementary School since the beginning of the year, the Jersey Shore Area School Board is set to vote on the school’s fate June 17.

The closing of the school will be the only item discussed during the June 17 special school board meeting at the high school at 7 p.m.

During courtesy of the floor, Adrienne Stahl, of Limestone Township, requested that the administration give the school board the option of pushing back the closing of the school to the 2014-15 school year.

She said it “doesn’t make sense” to put more students in a school that will be undergoing renovations during the school year. And besides interruptions to the educational process, Stahl said she is concerned with the children’s safety, as asbestos will be removed during renovations.

“I think it’s important to have as few children there as possible,” Stahl said.

John Shireman, who served his last meeting as a school board member Tuesday, said the board needs to make the best decision when it comes to closing a school for everyone, not just a segment of the population. He added that by not closing a school, it would put a financial burden on taxpayers and also would hurt students.

When it comes to questions among the public, borough resident Burt Francis asked the board to be more transparent. He said too often the public is left looking for answers instead of having them answered.

“These meetings should be a two-way street,” Francis said.

Keith Barrows, of Porter Township, agreed with Francis and thought informal open meetings with board members and the public would allow all parties to interact. Barrows believes that during school board meetings, members don’t feel it’s their place to answer questions.

“The community needs to have some more involvement,” resident Amy Lorson added.