MANSFIELD - After hearing a feasibility study from Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates Monday night, the Southern Tioga School District administration and school board said the public must realize that schools most likely will need to close in the district. As district Superintendent Keith Yarger said, it's a decision that will not just affect an individual or a small group, but an entire community.
"I know everyone wants to keep their school - and I don't blame you - but we just can't do it," Yarger said.
"We can't stay where we are, we have to move forward," said board President Ivan Erway.
Scott Vincel, of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates, explained the district could do a number of things, regarding district buildings.
One option is to do nothing. But as Laura Perry, business manager, explained, staying put and not closing a school would result in the district seeing a budget deficit in the 2013-14 school year.
The district also could decide to close schools, according to Vincel.
Vincel discussed keeping Mansfield High School and North Penn High School open, while changing Liberty High School to house kindergarten through sixth grade. Liberty Elementary would close in this option.
The board also heard an option where Mansfield High School and Liberty High School remained open. In this situation, Blossburg Elementary students would go to North Penn High School, with the elementary school closing or razing an older portion of the building and using the remaining structure with the North Penn school.
Yarger said the board and administration will continue to seek answers on what decision to make. If the board favors closing a building, then it would need to hold a public hearing for both the district and public to discuss it. Although he could not give the exact next step for the district, Yarger did say a decision needs to be made this school year.