FEAT recommends closing schools, selling Cage Fieldhouse

SWARTZ CREEK –—The Facilities Evaluation and Assessment Team (FEAT) wrapped up its mission last week, surprising some committee members and residents who are wondering why they never received certain information they say they were promised.

The ad-hoc panel of school officials and community members was formed in September to study and recommend solutions for excess building capacity in the context of declining enrollment and state aid.

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, the committee settled on four recommendations, which have been sent to the Board of Education for further consideration. The board has said it will make a final decision by spring.

The recommendations include closing Gaines Elementary, or closing Dieck Elementary, or closing Gaines and Syring Elementary, or selling the Cage Fieldhouse and closing Syring.

Morrish and Elms Road elementary schools are not involved in the proposed changes.

The school board was expected to receive the recommendations at its Wednesday, Dec. 9, meeting. Details of that meeting were unavailable by press time.

The committee’s decision surprised many area residents who said they never received specific numbers on how much money the district would save by closing an elementary school, and where the affected students would go.

“I can’t believe we’re doing all this without a dollar amount,” said resident Cheryl Pavkovich.

A couple of FEAT members had similar concerns.

“We haven’t talked about dollars on any of these,” FEAT member Erin Chesser said. “I don’t see how we can go this through this so quickly. This is a huge decision that’s going to impact our community.”

“We have no figures,” added John Blanchard, FEAT member. “We don’t know the numbers.”

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Hall said all that data was and is available on the district webpage.

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