Three of the four elementary schools in the Tunkhannock (Pa.) Area School District have closed their doors for good.
The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that the school board, faced with a shrinking population and diminishing resources, voted in March to close Mill City Elementary in Dalton, Evans Falls Elementary in Monroe Township and Mehoopany Elementary in Mehoopany.
Enrollment in the district has declined to about half of what it was in 1975, when numbers peaked at 5,200. The district also had to deal with a budget deficit of $1 million to $3 million a year, officials said.
In the fall, all district students will attend reconfigured schools. Roslund Elementary will become a primary center for kindergarten through second grades. The middle school will become an intermediate school and house third through sixth grades, and seventh-graders will attend a science, technology, engineering and math academy in the administration building. Eighth-graders will move to the high school.
“I worry about the loss of a sense of community,” says Lisa Landsiedel, who spent 16 years as a member of Mill City’s parent-teacher organization. “Teachers here know families and generations. I think you’ll lose that.”
The district has not yet made any decisions on what will happen to the three elementary school buildings, but Mill City community members said they hope to see their building maintained and used.