Long Beach school closure vote Wednesday

This January 2013 photo shows East Elementary School This January 2013 photo shows East Elementary School in Long Beach. Photo Credit: Google Maps

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The Long Beach school board may reach an agreement Wednesday on a controversial proposal to close East Elementary School and, in one scenario, turn it into an administration building.

School board member Roy J. Lester said the board is still considering all of its options, but acknowledged parents of East School students have made it clear that they think shuttering East to students is a bad idea.

"I don't see, from the East School parents, a lot of support for closing the school," Lester said. "We'll look at the different options."

The board was scheduled to publicly discuss the options for reorganizing the district at a special meeting Wednesday. Superintendent David Weiss said the board is holding the special meeting because putting off a decision until it's regularly scheduled Feb. 11 meeting is "too long to wait." He declined to comment further.

Options include repurposing East and reorganizing the district; reorganizing the district and keeping East open; or doing nothing, school records show. Repurposing East would save the district the most money, more than $1.6 million, according to school records.

The district has fewer than 3,600 students, Weiss has said, and restructuring is necessary because enrollment is down more than 600 students from 10 years ago.

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More than 350 parents attended a forum about the plan at Long Beach High School last week, with the vast majority opposing the East School closure.

Leah Enfield, a Point Lookout resident who sends two of her children to East School, said parents have had difficulty getting information about the special meeting. However, she said she is glad the school board is close to a decision.

"We're hoping this is the definitive answer to kind of put an end to 'What is the plan?' " she said.

The meeting is to start at 7:30 p.m. at the Long Beach Middle School auditorium, 239 Lido Blvd. in Lido Beach.

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