LSD Closes Hunt

Posted by MJ

A couple years after closing Dewitt and reducing Pound to just Pre-K, the Lockport School District has decided to close Hunt. The LUSJ reported:

...Board members said they did not make the decision lightly.
”I’m not going to sit here and pretend I can say something that will make this any easier,” said President John Linderman. “It’s not an easy decision for this board to come to.”

”It’s with a heavy heart I voted,” said Trustee James Gugliuzza, a Hunt alum.
Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said the district will move forward, deciding whether to sell or lease the building. The roughly 250 kids who attend Hunt will be transferred by the fall of 2013, not including the ones who will move up to fifth grade at Emmet Belknap Intermediate...
A big plus for the City of Lockport was its neighborhood elementary schools. It was rare to find a municipality that still offered the benefits of these  neighborhood bonds and the ability to walk a short distance to school instead of living on a bus.
...A parent of two at Washington Hunt, including a son who will enter his fifth school in seven years, Michael Foster said losing a school like Hunt could have adverse effects on the community. Parental involvement in their children’s education could be reduced and stability of the community threatened

Foster told board members about his decision to move to Livingston Place within the Washington Hunt community. He told board members to be sure about their decision to close the school....
It would have been nice to see city leaders more involved or taking a stand in the last two rounds of closures. Losing these 3 neighborhood anchors for 2-3% savings in the school budget (what did salaries and benefits rise the past 3 years?) seems a short sighted decision in regards to the well being of the city and school district.

Work on a classroom addition at Kelley is expected to begin in the fall. The addition was a part of an $18.9 million capital project approved by voters last year. Some residents said had they known it would lead to the closure of Hunt, they probably would have voted differently.
Keep churning the spoon fed calves out of the bigger and bigger factories. 


Anonymous said...

That's amazing that you would complain about a way to downsize and save tax dollars. Sure, keep the school open and cut wages, what a simple answer they should have come up with...
Look, it worked at Delphi. They cut wages like 50%, oh but wait they still went from 9000 employess to 1000.
Sometimes hard choices have to be made.

MJ said...

Saving money does no good when it reduces the allure of your product/experience to customers.

Older communities have to find their niches. Neighborhood schools were a great one. I know it was one of the positives I felt when I first bought here.

As we keep closing them, it appears that they are the easiest of the "hard" choices.

Anonymous said...

Then you shouldn't have any right to complain about high taxes if you want your custom, private schools. I can guarantee they saved more money closing this school then they ever could cutting administrators, which everyone thought was the answer.

MJ said...


There is nothing custom about a neighborhood school. Except maybe the experience of kids making local friends in class, neighborhood parents interacting and bonding, the ability of our increasingly overweight children to walk to school and interact with their neighborhood and friends, more people on the sidewalks for safer neighborhoods, etc.

What is the benefit of the larger school this year? We save $12.50 cents per resident closing the old one while increasing busing.

There is a big shift to smaller homes and walkable neighborhoods with all amenities within walking distance, including schools. Lockport already has the infrastructure. Instead of embracing it we are planning as though its 1985. Now that things are coming full circle with the next generation we are priming ourselves to let opportunity to pass us by again.

They said they saved 500,000 closing the school. With salary, retirement and health care that's about what, 10 employees max?

The biggest escalator in years past was retirement and insurance increases. Nothing is being done to tackle those HUGE runaway issues which are driving pretty much all of the budget increases. Pruning off schools does nothing but delay another year the hard work while pretty much permanently removing what did/could make Lockport a special place to live.

Anonymous said...

We are saving not 'only' $500,000 a year but also avoiding spending $1,000,000 in renovation costs which would be required if the school was kept open.
Savings have to start somewhere. This is a small welfare based city. We can't afford the things we used to afford when Harrison's gave 10,000 people high paying jobs and also paid most of the taxes for the city. Government has to shrink (including the fire department, schools, etc.) we are not the Lockport of the 50's and 60's. Accept it, we are a poverty based city.

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