The Auburn city school board voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday night to close West Middle School after this academic year in hopes of narrowing an anticipated $6.5 million budget deficit, according to The Post-Standard.
Officials expect the consolidation to save about $1.6 million in yearly operating costs by eliminating 38 teaching and other staff positions. Starting next year, West Middle’s seventh-and eighth-grade students will be shifted to East Middle School and current fifth-grade students will stay in one of the district’s five elementary schools for their sixth-grade year.
With more than 100 people at the meeting, the board voted 8 to 1 to shutter the school. Before voting, several board members said the decision they faced was most difficult. However, they said it had to be made because of the district’s financial problems and declining enrollment.
“This is a crisis we have never seen before,’’ Dave Lansford said.