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District looks into consolidating Seward schools, releases survey

In the face of budget cuts, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is looking at many cost saving measures including school consolidation.

The Seward Middle School would be closed, with seventh and eighth graders attending the high school and sixth graders attending the middle school.

The district and school board are requesting thoughts and input through a public survey available online.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/27PHGPS

According to a release from the district, the high school has the capacity to accommodate the middle school students and the consolidation would simplify transportation issues. Closing the middle school would offer an annual savings of about $409,000 in operating costs.

Administration is also looking at a similar proposal in Homer.

“Timing of any potential school consolidations in the Seward or Homer areas is unknown, and at this time, school closures or consolidations would be dependent upon funding from the state in FY20 and beyond,” according to a release from the district. “It is unlikely that school closures would occur in the Seward or Homer area as fast as the 2019-2020 school year, unless the governor’s proposed budget stands.”

There will be a community meeting on April 11 at 6:30 p.m. at William H. Seward Elementary School.