New Castle News

March 14, 2014

Three elementary schools to close July 1

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Three city elementary schools will close this summer.

The New Castle school board voted 7-0 Monday to close the John F. Kennedy, Thaddeus Stevens and West Side primary centers, effective July 1.

Barbara Razzano and David DiGiammarino were absent.

For the 2014-15 school year, all first- and second-graders will attend the Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center. Third-graders will move to the George Washington Intermediate Elementary School, which will continue to house grades four, five and six.

The district plans to sell the schools: Kennedy at 326 E. Laurel Blvd., Thaddeus Stevens at 831 Harrison St. and West Side at 708 W. Washington St.

Superintendent John Sarandrea said the administration will provide written notice to all administrators, professional and temporary professional employees affected by the closings at least 60 days prior to July 1.

The board also approved the request of business manager Joe Ambrosini to hire Richard G. English and Associates of Sharon to appraise the buildings. He said the cost would range from $1,500 to $1,800 per building and estimated the job would take four to six weeks.

After the meeting, Sarandrea said he anticipates the district will realize savings following the building closings when some current employees are eliminated from the payroll. He could not estimate how many people will be affected.

“We’ll have to wait until the end of the school year to see how many retirements we have.”

Sarandrea noted several staff members have expressed interest in retirement packages the district offered this year.

“The more who accept retirements, the fewer we will have to lay off.”

On Monday, the board approved retirements of Vicki Cubellis, high school English teacher, and Rosemary Row, junior high English teacher, who will leave at the close of the school year, and Daniel Cook, maintenance worker, effective March 31.

The board also accepted the resignations of Jacquelyn Taylor, cafeteria worker, and Deanna Withrow, personal care assistant.