Board Discusses Fate of Former Elementary School

Last month, Walnut Ridge Elementary School was officially closed. Now, the school board is prepared to sell the once smallest of the district’s elementary schools. This decision is coupled with the selling of Ewing Park school’s contents – a school that was also a former elementary school in the district.

All the members of the Ellwood City School Board were in favor Thursday night of receiving an appraisal and exploring the sale of the Walnut Ridge school building.

In its final school year, Walnut Ridge held approximately 140 students. Because of its size, the district, facing huge deficits from the state, was forced to close the school and eliminate the costs.

Since 2004, the enrollment within the district’s elementary schools dropped 9.4 percent, and operating four schools was difficult.

This drop in elementary school enrollment isn’t something that just started happening. In fact, there has been a steady decline for years. At one time, you could count the number of schools on both hands.

Ewing Park Elementary School is set to be demolished and a sale of the contents inside has yet to be determined

One such elementary school was in Ewing Park. In less than a month, this former school will be demolished and its contents could go with it.

Although the discussion has been to conduct a sale of the items inside the elementary school building, several members of the board seemed to agree that a sale may not be the best idea.

“It may not be worth it,” school board member Kathy Pansera said. “It’s a bit of a risk letting people walk around in that old building – it’s in bad shape. I know a lot of people just want the bricks when the building comes down.”

Building and Grounds Superintendent Chris Thompson explained to the board that if a sale was conducted, they would try and move items to the hallways, a much safer place for people to be inside the building. However, he felt as though a sale is a bit pointless.

“There is nothing but junk in there,” Thompson said. “It may be wise to just leave the things in there when it’s torn down.”

As board member Jennifer Grossman noted, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Thompson laughed and agreed.

Yet, the board did not seem to make a definite decision; however, many of them did feel as though a sale was not worth it. As it stands currently, a sale will not be conducted.

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