Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Akron's Superintendent says a high school may close

Akron Superintendent David James taped an interview with Carole Sullivan and me a short time ago .. and in the end of the interview, I asked him if more buildings could be closed and if a high school could be part of the cuts. He said that yes more building closures and/or consolidations are on the way ... and as for a high school closing, he said it's a "possibility."

See the entire interiew tonight at 7 ..

More later .. Eric


R.S. said...

Sorry to say I missed the 7:00 report this evening. I have a sister in law who teaches at North High School. She was telling us last month that there is "talk" about closing North. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Anonymous said...

The current high school enrollment totals from the APS' website:

Buchtel - 764
East - 898
Ellet - 1,147
Firestone - 1,281
Garfield - 1,201
Kenmore - 902
North - 819

In terms of enrollment, North and Buchtel are the two smallest high schools. In North's case, this fact is rather ironic, because North High may be one of the largest buildings within the district. It is also fairly isolated from a geographic standpoint, with no other nearby high schools within the city limits -- East would be the closest.

Buchtel is actually the smallest of the seven high schools right now. The building has been slated for demolition with a new high school to be constructed on site. It is fairly close to Firestone, which currently has the largest enrollment of the high schools. Merging the two would make the combined Firestone-Buchtel High even larger.

Also, there is the possibility of consolidating East and Ellet, or Garfield and Kenmore. In both cases, the schools are fairly close together, but located in VERY different communities. Particularly with Ellet and Kenmore, you are dealing with communities that were once functional, independent suburbs of Akron. They still maintain a tight grip on their separate identities and could fight the most fiercely at the prospect of losing (or even sharing) their high school.

In any case, it won't be an easy choice. I certainly don't envy Mr. James.

Eric Mansfield said...

The ironic part to me is that Buchtel and North were constructed with the same building plan. If you walk in the main hallways to the "T", it's easy to forget which building you're in.

School board not saying which high school might be a casualty, but a great many folks are doing the math and looking at the big picture .. and see North and Buchtel -- and possibly both -- as the biggest targets.

As a diehard Viking (Class of 1986) I'm hoping my alma mater survives .. but I do know that this is a numbers game .. as in enrollment and dollars .. and the future of NHS is cloudy at best.

Anonymous said...

Please close Buchtel.
I would love to see them combined with Firestone. I would consider sending my child to a public school at that time. As long as Buchtel is our "highschool" district my child will go to private schools and I will vote no for all school levies.

Anonymous said...


Couldn't you open enroll your child at Firestone?

Anonymous said...

Buchtel seems the easiest to get away with closing at this point. Firestone is less than 3 miles away. And while Firestone itself doesn't have much in the way of extra capacity at the moment, there is plenty of surrounding space for expansion. There could even be a case made for the BoE to convert Litchfield Middle School, literally right next door to Firestone on the same campus, into a new wing of Firestone.

North, as I suggested previously, is really too isolated to close without a serious plan for what to do with its' stranded student population. The next closest high schools within the city limits -- East and Firestone -- are both more than 5 miles away. However, consider the fact that Cuyahoga Falls High School is only 3 miles away. Maybe it's time for APS to think about working out agreements with neighboring school districts?