Are some Scottsdale schools in danger of closing? - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Are some Scottsdale schools in danger of closing?

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

The Scottsdale School District is facing a $6 million dollar budget shortfall next year and one of the ways to close the gap could be to close some schools where enrollment has been dropping.

Closures are one option, but the district says that would be a last resort.

On Tuesday night, the school board will meet to discuss their options.  No decision will be made on closing schools, but some schools at risk for closing could be identified.

Hohokam and Tonalea Elementary schools are half empty, according to the state facilities board.  With the Scottsdale Unified School District facing a $6 million budget gap, will it close some under-capacity schools to save money?

"It's a very emotional thing to close a school.. that's their neighborhood school.  It's not only emotional for the parents and students, but we have to take special care of the teachers," said SUSD's Dr. Anne-Marie Woolsey, who doesn't agree with the state facilities board.  It found 14 Scottsdale schools under capacity.

"They look at each school, they look at the square footage and they divided by nine square feet per student.. they don't take the idea of that students need an auditorium, a multipurpose room, a cafeteria, specialty classrooms," she said.

The district did their own capacity report. It'll be presented to the school board Tuesday. Depending on that presentation, the board could decide what schools, if any, should be on the chopping block.

"My husband taught at Hohokam and he retired from there," said Fran Wyatt, who hopes it's not Hohokam in south Scottsdale.  She says new families are starting to move into this older neighborhood.

"Just a very good school with very good teachers."

The district says there's other options too.

"We wouldn't necessarily close a whole school.  We would close a wing or a section of a school and thus we would save money," said Woolsey.

If the board decides to look into closing some schools, the district would have to give the community 10 days notice. A number of meetings would be held before a vote, so that could be months away.

Scottsdale schools under capacity according to State School Facilities Board:
Cherokee, Copper Ridge, Hohokam, Kiva, Laguna, Redfield, Sequoya, Tonalea, Navajo and Yavapai Elementary, Cocopah, Desert Canyon and Mountainside middle schools, Coronado High School

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