• Why close any buildings?

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    Student enrollment in grades K-12 has been dropping steadily and significantly over the last decade. Since 2010, enrollment has declined by 21.7% representing a loss of 392 students across Hornell programs.

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  • Why the Bryant building?

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    Bryant Elementary is the smallest of Hornell’s school buildings, but the least efficient to operate. Landlocked in a densely populated neighborhood, Bryant School is also a frequent object of complaints from community members regarding school bus traffic, related parking ordinances, and equipment noise. Traffic flow in the area continues to raise safety questions in spite of various remediation strategies implemented over the years.

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  • Is $500,000 a fair sale price?

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    Aging school buildings are a redesign challenge and highly costly to retrofit to meet today’s efficiency standards. Once closed, they tend to remain empty, with continued liability and maintenance cost to districts and taxpayers. Based on research into regional equivalents, and the experience of the district’s legal counsel, Park Grove’s offer of $500,000 is as well above range for a small school building such as Bryant Elementary. Similar buildings have sold for under $50,000.

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  • What happens to the money the district receives from the sale of the building?

    Posted by:

    The sale revenue would be directly applied to any debt the district owes on its buildings.

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  • What happens if we owe more debt than we are selling the building for?

    Posted by:

    Should voters approve the building sale, any debt balance would continue to be state-aided at the established rate of 98%, until paid off. 

    With a debt schedule shortened by an early loan pay-down, 2021-22 would be the last fiscal year when local funds would be applied to any debt on the Bryant building. Every year thereafter, the amount of state aid would exceed any remaining debt payments.  

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  • How much will the district save by closing Bryant?

    Posted by:

    Bryant’s closure, and the ensuing program consolidation at North Hornell Elementary and the Intermediate School, will create redundancies in services and personnel. A conservative estimate accounting for expense reductions in personnel/benefits, utilities and maintenance points to savings in excess of $550,000 per budget year, for the next five years.  

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  • What happens to staff who are currently working at Bryant?

    Posted by:

    Since the district’s footprint reduction was first recommended in 2018-19, the district has had time to reconcile its hiring practices with a future school closure and consolidation in mind. Namely, over the last 18 months, resignations and retirements have been replaced or backfilled with district-wide positions, substitutes and temporary hires. As such, the district is poised to achieve personnel reductions mostly through attrition, avoid layoffs, and save on unemployment costs.

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  • Why are we building an addition to North Hornell and selling Bryant?

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    The addition planned for North Hornell will consist of two classrooms designed for the 3-year-old pre-kindergarten program, currently housed at the Intermediate School. Fully funded by a grant earmarked for Pre-K classroom additions and/or technology upgrades, the work requires no borrowing or voter approval.

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  • Will a NO vote on the Building Sale keep Bryant open as a school?

    Posted by:

    No. Bryant School is slated for closure, independently of the voters’ decision on the building sale. The district is already implementing a building reconfiguration plan and beginning to move grade-levels to the Intermediate School. A NO vote would just mean that the empty building would remain the responsibility of the district and its taxpayers--including maintaining it into the future, without aid from the state.

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  • Did the district consider other building closure options?

    Posted by:

    Any building could close, but it was abundantly clear that a building needed to close. The Facilities Committee, focus groups, architect consultant, and administration placed all options on the table and reviewed every school building for its potential and its challenges. Fundamentally, other school buildings can house more students, run more efficiently, and have benefitted from more recent investment in upgrades. Overtime, every assessment pointed to Bryant School as the clear choice for a building closure.

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  • How will the closure of the Bryant building affect my child?

    Posted by:

    The consolidation of the elementary and secondary experience into two school buildings will yield a more streamlined program for students, foster greater collaboration among faculty and staff, strengthen continuity of learning, reduce building transitions for students and families, and create a more connected and supportive school community for all.

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