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Katonah-Lewisboro Moves Ahead With Elementary School Closing

The Katonah-Lewisboro School District is moving forward with plans to close Lewisboro Elementary School despite some public outcry. Some protesters have become unhinged accord to Charles Day, school board president.
The Katonah-Lewisboro School District is moving forward with plans to close Lewisboro Elementary School despite some public outcry. Some protesters have become unhinged accord to Charles Day, school board president. Photo Credit: File Photo

LEWISBORO, N.Y. -- Charles Day is not going to let a small group of "unhinged" protesters stop the Katonah-Lewisboro school district from going forward with the process of closing Lewisboro Elementary School.

Day, the school board president, said the board has recently completed an educational impact statement and found bus times will be the same or lower than they are now if they close the school.

"We can use some of the savings from closing the school to add bus routes," Day said. "The average bus time will go down from where they are now."

Day said the school district expects to save about $1.9 million and that class sizes will only see a marginal increase.

"That is a huge sum of money," Day said. "We will have to do some slight modifying after the redistricting."

At a recent Board of Education meeting, Trustee Stephanie Tobin asked for a straw vote. Tobin, Peter Treyz and Richard Stone were firmly in favor of closing the school.

Janet Harckham and Day were leaning in favor of closing the school, while Marjorie Schiff was leaning against. Schiff proposed waiting a year, which Day rejected.

"No board wants to go through this again," Day said. "I think the community is overwhelmingly in favor of this."

Day said there is a very small minority of people who are against the closing that have become totally unhinged.

"That group has made it impossible to wait a year," Day said.

A preliminary vote is set to be held on Dec. 19 with a formal public hearing being held on Jan. 16. A final vote will be set on Jan. 23.

Closing the school will be part of Lewisboro's 2014-2015 budget which will be voted on by the public in May. The closing would see a principal, assistant principal, nurse, librarian, janitors, and psychologist laid off.

Day was highly critical of a protest of 20 cars that drove to Meadow Pond Elementary School in South Salem to show the potential traffic impact.

"It was borderline dangerous," Day said. "No one has come forward to take responsibility which makes me think they know this wasn't a good idea. It was the final straw, it showed what these people are like."

Calls to several of the protesters were not returned.

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