Kathy Mazur tells RSC it's back to the drawing board on school consolidation
The Amherst Regional School Committee heard a defeatist update from HR Director Kathy Mazur, who was charged with scoping out the merging of Middle School students into the High School building, which represented a complete turn around from her optimistic presentation back in late January projecting annual cost savings of $800,000.
The High School was expanded/renovated 20 years ago and has a current capacity of 1,700 while the projected population of both High School and Middle School grades 7-12 this coming September is only 1,340.
But Ms. Mazur said after viewing comments from over 960 individuals she has changed her mind:
"There are very few grades 7-12 schools in Mass with over 1,000 kids. It's a LOT of students. Our cafeteria is challenged now."
Mazur said there was "great interest" from a variety of groups in reusing the building, but the Region cannot make a profit by renting out space.
The Middle School is currently used by Greenfield Community College after regular school hours and the town's Leisure Services and Supplemental Education recently moved into an unused portion of the building.