Puddles plague the playground at the Mary Morrisson Elementary School which could be the next school to shut down as part of the Groton 2020 plan an effort to consolidate schools.
“The decision to close a school is very painful,” said Dr. Michael Graner, Superintendent of Groton Schools. “That school has served by and large military population for the last 55 years.”
It wasn’t originally in the plans but Dr. Michael Graner realized closing another elementary school could make the town more efficient with significant savings.
“The facility itself the heating and ventilation and so forth and just the general and maintenance,” said Dr. Graner.
He doesn’t expect teacher layoffs. But a principal and other administrative staff would no longer be needed. He chose Mary Morrison because of problems like a less than ideal traffic pattern and puddles that don’t dry up for days.
“It’s sad because it’s a smaller school,” said parent April Fortin. “It’s an old-fashioned school. The class sizes are smaller.”
Her 4-year-old son Crawford however is open to going to a new school.
“Not here. Another day,” said Crawford. “Another day. Maybe tomorrow.”
If approved by the school board on June 24th the school wouldn’t close for two years giving the town time to work out the details.
The two elementary schools already slated to close are S.B. Butler and Claude Chester.
Two new elementary schools will be built on the sites of the West Side STEM Magnet and Cutler Arts & Humanities Middle Schools.
They and their magnet school themes will be combined into a new consolidated Groton Middle School being built next to Fitch High School.
“There’s a theme we actually have in one of our elementary schools right now called STEAM which is science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics so it’s really a great blend,” explained Dr. Graner.
20 years ago there were 14 schools in town and after this latest consolidation there could be seven.
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