Vernon school board to get appraisals

Vernon. Vernon Township School District Board of Education is going to get a commercial appraisal on all school buildings except the high school, to decide which school is best suited to be closed and sold. As of Nov. 14, some board members were leaning toward closing Walnut Ridge.

19 Nov 2019 | 04:11

The Vernon Township Board of Education is looking to get a market appraisal on all the school buildings with the exception of Vernon Township High School.

So far, the Board of Education is looking at the possibility of closing either Cedar Mountain Primary School or Walnut Ridge.

In October, Business Administrator Steve Kepnes gave a presentation on possible savings from closing Cedar Mountain and on Thursday, Nov. 14, Kepnes gave a presentation on possible savings from the closure of Walnut Ridge.

Walnut Ridge currently houses the district’s preschool program and is also home to the district administration and other offices.

Kepnes’ presentation indicated that overall closing Walnut Ridge would save about $528,546, while the district could save $559,500 by closing Cedar Mountain.

"We have to do something,” Board of Education member Kelly Mitchell said. “We can't just stay the way we are. I think that would be the least impact to the district. Even if we go up in enrollment - and we will., I think we can handle it."

Mitchell said she thinks Walnut Ridge is the better option as it would affect the least number of students.

If Walnut Ridge is closed, Kepnes suggested the preschool could possibly be moved to Lounsberry Hollow School.

Board of Education President Brad Sparta said the district would need to get a market analysis done on both buildings before they decide.

Another advantage to closing Walnut Ridge, board members discussed was that Walnut Ridge is separate from other the other schools, while Cedar Mountain is in the middle of a row of four schools.

"I like the idea of it being separate from the other schools,” Board of Education member Mark Cilli said.