12/12/2013 8:10 PM
by Karen Franklin
FAYETTEVILLE - The future of a Fayette County school is in the hands of state officials following requests by a dozen residents to keep it open Thursday night.
One by one, parents and teachers addressed Fayette County officials about their disapproval of plans to close Gatewood Elementary School and transfer its students to Fayetteville Elementary.
The disgruntled speakers voiced their concerns about the building conditions of Fayetteville Elementary School and and what it would mean to lose their community school.
"The potential for adverse economic impacts on smaller communities that lose facilities exist," parent Betty Miller told WOAY. "Students in larger schools tend to be more disconnected, which often requires special programs to address dropouts and discipline.
But Fayette County School Board officials insist there are no health or safety issues and said the move is due to factors including a decrease in student population and financial constraints.
Transcripts from Thursday night's hearing will be submitted to State Superintendent James Phares, who is set to make a decision about the fate of the 2014-2015 within the next months.