Taylorville School Board delays decision on closing Stonington Elementary

Taylorville School Board delays decision on closing Stonington Elementary. (WICS)

The Taylorville School Board hosted a public forum to hear public opinions about a difficult decision Monday night - whether or not to close Stonington Elementary School.

The board hosted an hours-long meeting and faced harsh criticism as well as support from attendees as they weighed in on the issue.

There were comments both for and against the school's closing.

The meeting was originally slated to last an hour, but ended nearly two and a half hours after it started.

Students, teachers, even Taylorville board members voiced their opinions as to whether a more than $9 million price tag is worth keeping Stonington Elementary School open.

School board member Steve Curtain started the night off by saying the decision to potentially close the school happened mostly behind closed doors and that decrease in student attendance needs to be fixed.

Those in favor of closing the school said they want to make sure students are able to have a safe place to learn.

“We do not have the money available today to make the repairs needed at Stonington to provide a safe, comfortable place for our children to learn. I have not seen a plan to raise the money for these repairs. I am open to those repairs, I just have not seen any,” said an attendee in favor of closing the school, named Jennifer.

However, those against closing the school wonder if it's the best idea.

"We all have heard excitedly from the superintendent when we get the approval for a police officer for the school or when we get money for a mental health counselor for the school. It is great to get this all, but are we doing our maximum to help our children?" Curtain said.

School board members said if one repair project were to be started, they would need to go ahead and start more as a result of a domino effect.

As of now, no decision has been made as to whether or not the school will be closed.

The president of the school board said the board first needs to put together a task force before anything more can occur.

If Stonington was to close, it would follow Mt. Auburn, West and South.

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