Empty Seats at School Board Public Hearing

By: Deon Guillory Email
By: Deon Guillory Email

The Augusta County School Board opened the floor to parents about options for moving their children to new schools, but its presentation may have fallen on deaf ears.
There were many empty seats in the Ladd Elementary School cafeteria except for small groups of people sprinkled around the room.
"The turnout wasn't bad tonight. We do have three public hearings scheduled so, if we added the cumulative number from those three public hearings, I'm sure this room would have been full." said Augusta County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chuck Bishop.
The meetings are being held because Ladd Elementary is closing in June. Bishop says the school is closing because enrollment has been dropping, it's in the city of Waynesboro and there are safety concerns with the old building.
Bishop said, "it is in need of some work, some renovation. Instead of spending the money to do that, the decision was made to renovate another school and to relocate the students."
So the board is presenting two options to parents, looking for their input on the future of the school system, but when it came time for anyone to comment, the room turned quiet.
Bishop said, "I Think a lot of the work might have been done prior to tonight. So having that information ahead of time, being able to process it and digest it, i think was helpful."
Some parents tell News 3 they went to Thursday night's meeting just to hear what the school board had to say. The parents say they plan to be vocal at the third and final public hearing on Tuesday night, saying it will get heated.
The next public hearing is Monday, December 3 at Stuarts Draft High School. The third and final meeting is Tuesday, December 4 at Wilson Memorial High School. Both meetings begin at 7:00 p.m.


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