School board votes to close Whittier Elementary in 2015
By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Members of Sioux City School Board voted, Monday night, to close the book on a century-old school building.
After a month of discussions, school leaders voted, 6-1 to close Whittier Elementary in two years.
Board members said it was the right decision to make, to give students a 21st century education. Whittier is 111-years old. Still, they called the choice "agonizing." For new school board member Paul Speidel the decision was personal. Jackie Warnstadt, School Board Member said, "The opportunities we're going to give children by being in newer schools outweighs it. No more art on a cart, no more waiting for the lunch room to get cleaned so we can have PE." Paul Speidel, School Board Member, said "Man, if I had known it was going to be like this, I'm not sure I would have run. Only one person up here had to go home to their family and tell their daughter, 'I closed your school.' Only one. That's me."
Speidel was the only board member to vote to keep the school open.
Leaders say there's not enough sales tax revenue to replace the schools one for one. So, combining them is their only option.
A majority of students will go to the new Washington Elementary School when it opens in 2015. The district estimates about 40-students will be sent to Spalding Park.
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