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Article published November 13, 2012
Center Avenue school to remain open at least through 2013-14
BUTLER TWP — The Butler School District will keep Center Avenue Elementary School open at least through the 2013-14 school year, avoiding the loss of a reimbursement from the state Department of Education for construction costs related to the school’s renovation. The district’s school board made the decision at its meeting Tuesday after learning in October that the district could lose nearly $1.4 million in state construction reimbursements through the 2017-18 school year if the school is closed. “Closing Center Avenue would be a band-aid,” said Don Pringle, board president. “We need a five- to six-year (elementary school) consolidation plan.” Initially, the district believed it could shave $500,000 a year off of its budget by closing the school, reducing staff and busing students to McQuistion Elementary School, about a mile away. However, after adding busing costs and learning about the decreased reimbursements, administrators said savings would fall to about $216,000 the first year and hover around that amount through 2017-18, when construction bonds used to renovate the school would be repaid.