Consultant Hired To Explore Idea
WORCESTER — The Worcester Board of Education voted 5-0 on Tuesday to move forward with a merger study that will explore the possibility of annexing the Schenevus Central School District.
The two districts have engaged Castallo & Silky Education Consultants LLC as consultants to perform the annexation merger study.
“An annexation is the most appropriate merger option for our community,” Worcester Central School Superintendent Tim Gonzales said. “For us to move forward with a merger study, the board felt this was the most responsible way to proceed.”
The purpose of the merger study is to gather information about the potential staffing and financial impacts of an annexation, in which Schenevus Central School District would become part of the Worcester Central School District. The study will explore options for building and classroom configurations within a merged district.
“This represents a compromise between the two districts,” Schenevus Central School Superintendent Theresa Carlin said. “Studying annexation allows us to move forward toward a merger, which we believe represents the best possible outcome for our students.”
To begin the study process, the two districts will also form a joint advisory committee, composed of Schenevus and Worcester staff and community members. The committee will meet monthly beginning in spring and continuing through the fall. Meetings will be open to the public. Community members who are interested in joining the advisory committee are asked to complete and return an application (which will be available on both school districts’ websites) by the end of March.
Representatives of Castallo & Silky told the two school boards that their aim is to be able to present the completed survey (pending approval from the state Education Department) in early 2021. If both school boards decide at that time to move forward with the merger, the matter would go before the public for a vote later in 2021.
The anticipated cost of the merger study is $50,000, half of which will be offset by a $25,000 Regional Economic Development Council grant. The remaining costs will be shared equally between the Worcester and Schenevus school districts.