Two BG elementary schools set for closure

The schools superintendent for Bowling Green Wednesday evening announced an aggressive restructuring plan
that includes the closure of two elementary buildings, and the expansion of a third.
Dr. Ann McVey told her audience in her first State of the District address that her recommendations to
reduce spending and address drops in enrollment will benefit both taxpayers and students.
She is recommending the closure of Milton Elementary at the end of this school year, followed by the
shuttering of Ridge Elementary at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
Additionally, McVey is planning an expansion of as many as 10 classrooms at Crim Elementary to hold
preschool and all-day kindergarten classes; that addition, she said, would be ready for the 2012-13
school year and would not require a new tax levy.
Her plan would take sixth-graders out of each elementary building and place them at the middle school
starting this fall.
She told an audience of nearly 200 that the district’s administrative team has taken “a hard look at
resources and how those resources are being used.”
Of concern fiscally is a large drop in the collection of tangible personal property taxes; the loss is
estimated at $2 million by the end of the 2012-13 school year, pushing the district into a deficit
situation sooner than anticipated.
McVey, who has been superintendent since January, estimates the restructuring plan would save the
district more than $2.3 million through June 2013: $735,000 in building operating costs, and $1.6
million from not having to make anticipated necessary repairs to the two elementaries.
The superintendent will make her recommendations to the Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday, at 5
p.m. in the middle school library. There will be time that night for public comment.
More than once tonight she said these decisions “are not easy but they are the right thing to do.”
“I honestly believe from the depth of my being, that this is going to be a good thing for students,”
McVey stated.
“It’s the best thing for our kids, and the district kids in general. It’s best for the long run,” said
Milton Principal George Offenburg about the plan to close his building in three weeks.
The closure of Milton will not result in the laying off of any teaching staff; teachers will be moved
into positions made vacant through retirements and resignations.
Offenburg will take over as principal at Ridge in the fall, replacing Dan Sheperd, who is retiring.
Sheperd also served as principal at Crim; McVey said a full-time administrator would be hired for that
Milton staff and PTO members have set a meeting for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to begin planning a closing
celebration for students.
“In the long run, we know it’s best,” said Rudolph resident Stacy St. Clair, who has two children
attending Milton. She said parents knew some day the school — located 12 miles from Bowling Green —
would close, but would have preferred to have more time to prepare youngsters for the change.
McVey admitted to the audience that the plan was only a few weeks old, but that a “fast track” was
“You will be kept in the loop. You will know what’s going on,” she assured the parents and teachers in
the audience. “I need your help. I need your support. We are in this together,” she stated.