School board to talk about new school

Published 12:02 am Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Suffolk City School Board will be combining its regular monthly meeting with its annual retreat today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at King’s Fork High School’s Black Box Theatre.

At the top of the school board’s agenda of unfinished business is a discussion of the division’s capital improvements plan.

Specifically, board members will be discussing what to do with Robertson and Southwestern Elementary Schools.

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At the School Board’s last meeting in May, Superintendent Milton Liverman told board members that a “straw poll” of City Council members showed that seven of eight council members were in favor of consolidating the schools.

That vote goes against the school’s current CIP, but goes back to when that was an option in a previous plan.

Board Member Enoch Copeland said he felt that Holland and Whaleyville villages should have their own respective schools.

“If you take schools away from a community, you take the heart out of the community,” Copeland said. “Something educationally needs to be left in these communities.”

Copeland also said that if any new school is built, it needs to go in the Holland community.

“When are we going to get our school?” he said. “We are due to have something in that community like every other community. Whaleyville does not have the growth, Holland does.”

While the board has reached no definitive decision, Liverman said the time is ripe for new construction. He told the board that because of the economy creating more competition among contractors, a project that was going to cost $22 million could now cost $14-$15 million.

“If we don’t build now, we’re missing an opportunity,” he said.

The board will also use their time together today to get an update on the goals and objectives set for the 2008-2009 year and will discuss ways to challenge students academically.

Additionally, the board will set new goals and objectives for the 2009-2010 school year.