A feasibility Study to see if the LBI School s can be consolidated into one school was performed and the results were announced to the public.
Currently, the district’s 238 students are divided between the Ethel Jacobsen Elementary School (Grades K-3) and the Long Beach Island Grade School (Grades 4-6 and pre-K).
The feasibility study came about after the defeat of the school budget last spring which by the way, was lower than the previous years’ budget.
The feasibility was performed by LAN and Associates and the report lays out a plan to sell the LBI School property and use the profits from the sale to build an addition to the EJ School to include all grade levles.
The “new” school would have at least two classrooms per grade level as well as a computer lab, and a new gym. With the existing gym and the new gym, lunches and gym classes can be held at the same time.
It was announced that although there will be no faculty staff cut backs, the duplicate staff postions would be eliminated and a savings toward heating, cooling, insurance and other things.
Comments from the audience included the following:
Why is there such a rush to consolidate -and the board replied that the LBI School has no money and that more programs would have to be cut.
What happens if there is an increase in students in a particular year-the response was that the new addition can be designed to include an extra classroom.
What kind of state aid – The 40% grant money usually funded for these types of projects may not be available depending on the new government educatuional changes.
What is the value of the LBI building. The study included the sale of the LBI property but didn’t take into the account the value of the building itself.
The public comments showed much concern over this proposal and it was disappointing that more of the community wasn’t there to ask questions and find out more about a major decision that affects all of the LBI children-our future.
Although, the public meeting did not seem like the decision to consolidate was up for discussion but rather it was a way the board wanted to report to the public what they are planning to do to face the budget challenges which includes a 2 percent cap for schools under Gov. Christie’s plan.