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Southgate To Close, Consolidate Schools

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SOUTHGATE (WWJ) - The Southgate Board of Education has voted to close down three buildings at the end of the school year due to budget concerns.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Ron Dewey spoke with Mellissa Lheureux who was part of a committee that tried to convince the seven-member school board not to close Gerisch Middle School, along with North Pointe and Chormann elementary schools.

With parents now looking at other options for their kids, Lheureux said she doesn’t think the district did its homework.

“What traffic studies were done to make sure that the parents and the kids are gonna be safe,  because your condensing all of your schools into a central part of the city? That’s never been answered,” Lheureux said. “We asked, what is the classroom size, to make sure that the buildings are going to be able to accommodate the kids, you know, once you have an influx of students. That has never been addressed.”

The decision means students in grade six will move to the only remaining middle school, while ninth graders will be shifted to the high school.

“It’s sad because, you know, I’m not worried about my kid at this point — I know my kid’s going to be fine,” said Lheureux. “I’m worried about the kids whose parents either don’t have the time or don’t take the interest in what’s going on to really analyze what it’s gonna do to impact their kids; that’s who I’m scared for.”

Lauren Graham is among the parents not happy with the school board’s 4-3 decision to close her son’s school.  “We like our school. My daughter graduated from here; we wanted him to finish here, you know.”

The district is trying to erase a $3.2 million deficit.

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