longfellow elementary

Kansas City (Mo.) board votes to close 2 elementary schools

Jan. 26, 2023
The board scaled back a proposal that had called for shuttering 4 schools, including Central High.

The Kansas City (Mo.) school board has voted to close two elementary schools at the end of this school year, scaling back an earlier proposal that would have shuttered four buildings.

The Kansas City Star reports that Troost and Longfellow elementary schools will close. Officials say both campuses are outdated and operating under capacity. The district expects the closings will cut costs by $2.4 million.

After community outcry, officials tossed out a previous proposal that would have closed Central High School and James Elementary School by next fall. The district also has paused a long-term restructuring proposal that had called for closing 10 schools over the next several years.

Administrators say Longfellow Elementary, which has $6.5 million in deferred maintenance needs, is in the worst condition of any school in the district. The school closed temporarily last fall after a carbon monoxide leak sent several students to a hospital.

Longfellow has only 235 students; the school’s capacity is 325.

Troost Elementary also is under capacity; it has 250 students, down from 370 in 2018. The facility has $4.3 million in deferred maintenance needs.

The Kansas City district has many aging buildings operating under capacity, officials say. After decades of dwindling enrollment because of students leaving for charter schools and suburban districts, district leaders say it is no longer feasible to operate all of its 37 school buildings, many of which have millions of dollars in deferred maintenance costs.

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