Forks/Valley Merger study continues
2/5/2013 (Updated 10:59:58 PM)(Source: Jeremy Donovan)
CHENANGO BRIDGE -- Never before have two districts of this size merged in New York State. Chenango Forks and Chenango Valley held their second of six merger study meetings.
Last month's meeting focused on the demographics of the two districts. This month was student programs such as music, drama, and athletics.
"What would a merged district look like in terms of the number of athletes and coaches," Dennis Sweeney, Merger Study Consultant.
Andrew Ziegenfus, a Chenango Forks Junior and three sport athlete, said last month that a larger school would mean a higher level of competition, giving students more opportunities in athletics down the road. But now, he's more concerned about involvement at the high school level.
"It might not give everyone an equal opportunity because with the combined school you have one team instead of two so you have twice as many kids trying put for one team which would be more cuts," he said.
Before tonight's meeting though, the committee toured the Chenango Forks Middle and High School in preparation for the next meeting which will discuss how each facility will be used.
"What we need to determine is which district will host the high school and which of the districts will host the middle school," Sweeney said.
A lot goes into making that decision, such as number of classrooms and their capacities as well as common areas.
"The larger spaces we look at also: the cafeterias, the gyms, the auditoriums, the libraries and what are the differences between the schools," Sweeney said.
That meeting will be held on February 26th at Chenango Valley. The plan regarding what a merged district will look like needs to be submitted to the state by June.
The school boards will then vote on the merger before presenting it to the public for its approval.
The earliest the districts could merge has been moved up to as early as next school year.
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