Columbia Crest Elementary School will remain open for at least one more school year, but the Eatonville School District will take other steps to reduce its budget by approximately $1 million.
After meeting Monday, the School Board announced that any jobs that become open through retirements or resignations will be left open, and the equivalent of 1.5 teaching positions will be eliminated. Those and other cuts, including closing the swimming pool at Eatonville High School to the public, will enable the district to save $700,000 toward its goal of reducing its budget for 2013-14 between $900,000 and $1 million.
The board said Columbia Crest will be kept open for the 2013-14 school year while the staff works toward developing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school. The board plans to decide by May 1, 2014 to either close or continue with the STEM development.
Community members, including parents of students at Columbia Crest, attended public forums and board meetings to protest the possibility of the school closing as a cost-saving measure.
According to the board, the swimming pool will remain in use for the high school’s girls swimming team and swim lessons for elementary school students. Closing it to the general public will save $50,000 in maintenance costs, according to district officials.
(Read more in the April 24 print edition of The Dispatch)