News and Tribune

Floyd County

June 24, 2008

Silver Street supporters, New Albany's mayor join forces

On Monday, New Albany Mayor Doug England told a group of concerned parents and community members — who are fighting to keep Silver Street Elementary open — that he understands the importance of being able to walk to school.

He did just that as a child.

He said that helps him understand the position and feelings they have, as the neighborhood school is being considered for closure by the Resources for Results committee.

That committee — started by New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. Superintendent Dennis Brooks — began more than two years ago with the task to come up with ideas for Brooks and the school board on how to better allocate the schools’ resources. School board and committee member Lee Ann Wiseheart said during that time they have looked at many options, such as doing nothing, reworking school district lines and investing millions in Silver Street to bring it up to Americans with Disabilities Act codes.

Though meeting notes from May show the committee is considering three options: two involve closing Pine View Elementary and one involves closing Silver Street. Those notes also say the committee agreed to move those ideas into a more detailed review stage.

Rumors have been going around that Silver Street is being considered for closure. Those, along with meeting notes leaked to community members that showed just that, caused supporters to rally together and to gain support.

Now, they are turning to the mayor, for more backing.

England told the group he is in favor of keeping the school open, because it encourages walkers and helps to define the area.

“The school is the heart of the neighborhood and if you take the heart away, the neighborhood just dies,” England said.

England mentioned that this isn’t the first time this issue has come up. He said during his mayoral term in the 1990s, parents fought to keep the school open. England said he believes those parents and community members were successful back then due to them being active and vocal with their concerns.

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