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Published: Tuesday, 2/27/2007

Board votes to close doors of Lemoyne Elementary

PEMBERVILLE, Ohio - Declining enrollment and increased financial strain prompted the Eastwood Local Board of Education last night to decide unanimously to close Lemoyne Elementary School for the 2007-08 school year.

Denis Helm said that voting to close the building was one of the toughest decisions he's had to make in his 25 years as a school board member.

"It's something, obviously, nobody likes to do, nobody wants to do, but financially I think we have to do," he said.

The decision to close the 80-year-old K-3 building is expected to save the district $105,000, Superintendent Brent Welker said.

Students will attend Luckey Elementary next year.

In other business, Mr. Welker spent more than an hour presenting the district's first internal report card, which focused mainly on the status of the district's operations.

Members of the school board have set six focal points to focus their energy on improving student achievement, facilities, finances, transportation, customer satisfaction, and communication.

Mr. Welker then identified several plans to improve those areas.

Some of them include hiring a full-time technology coordinator; agreeing on a long-term plan to either upgrade, maintain, or build new elementary school facilities; doing a better job sharing financial information with the community, and continuing to purchase used buses for a fraction of the cost of new ones.

He said the next steps will be for the board and administration to set target dates for improvements, and compare the current report card with the second one that will be released in August.

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