The school board for Raymond and Windham is scheduled to decide tonight whether to close the Jordan-Small Middle School in Raymond and send its students to the town’s elementary school.

Raymond residents spoke overwhelmingly against the measure at two public meetings last month. Tonight’s meeting is scheduled for 6:30 at the Raymond Broadcast Modular, next to the Jordan-Small school on Route 85.

The closure is being considered by the Regional School Unit 14 board to save money and address space issues in the two-town district. It is projected to save $774,439 over the next five years, according to the school board.

The proposal calls for consolidating the Raymond Elementary and Jordan-Small schools, both of which are at 50 percent capacity, at the elementary school next year.

The consolidation would require major renovations to the elementary school’s gym, cafeteria, science classrooms and library.

If the nine-member board agrees to close the middle school, the proposal would go to Raymond voters. Superintendent Sandy Prince said he does not know when that vote would be held.

Abby Davis of Raymond, the mother of a third-grader and a fourth-grader, said she opposes closing Jordan-Small and is angry that the issue came up.

She said rising taxes and the need for more space in the district will keep the prospect of the closure alive, even if the board votes tonight to keep the school open.

While the Small-Jordan school is below capacity, Windham Middle School is over capacity by 113 students. The district has applied for state money to build a new Windham Middle School with enough space for Raymond’s middle school students.

Prince said the application process could drag on for years and there is no guarantee that the state would agree to finance construction of the middle school now envisioned.

 

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

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