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Massena Central looking at consultant to help examine possible restructuring

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MASSENA - Massena Central School District officials may look to a consultant to help them with their exploration of possible building restructuring.

Interim Superintendent William H. Flynn said they may need to use the services of a consultant from the Rural Schools Association, a group to which the district belongs, to look at ways they can cost-effectively reorganize.

“There are a variety of ways of looking at restructuring,” he said, suggesting a consultant from the Rural School Association could “help us look at a variety of ways of restructuring administratively.”

Mr. Flynn said they should also consider an architect for a five-year plan that would look at building usage and “see more explicitly” what kid of space would be needed to accommodate any possible restructuring.

The discussion about building restructuring was first addressed by Finance Committee Chairman Loren Fountaine during an April budget work session.

Board members agreed during that meeting to set up committees to look at possible building restructuring. One committee is investigating the budgetary impact of consolidating the junior and senior high buildings, and another is looking at the budgetary impact of “stacking” the elementary schools, segregating grade levels at an individual building rather having each building continue to function as a kindergarten through grade six facility.

The committees include administrators, teachers and community members, who will report the results of their investigation to the district’s board of education in December.

“My opinion is, we certainly are not bare bones, but we are not providing the education we were five years ago. I think that would be lying to ourselves. If we’re going to survive, if state aid doesn’t get better, we have to make some serious changes,” Mr. Fountaine said in April.

“As we go around, I’m going to throw something out very early. That is combining the junior high and senior high school, which will be more efficient for us as far as utilizing the staff that we have. I think that’s something we need to look at starting now as a study and looking forward to the future regardless of what we do today. There are a lot of savings to be realized there, I think, and those are the kind of ideas we’re going to have to look at if we’re going to be able to survive and provide a quality education for the children of Massena going forward,” he had told fellow board members.

Because many teachers were certified for grades seven through 12, Mr. Fountaine said it would make it “easier to realize cuts if they have to happen.”

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