Superintendent Targets Four Schools For Closure
By Ed Pierce // November 13, 2012
Public Hearing Set For December
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Despite opposition from parents and some community groups, it appears Brevard Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Binggeli is moving forward with a plan that advocates for the closure of four schools on the Space Coast.
In a memo circulated to instructional staff, Binggeli says he will formally recommend to the school board closing Clearlake Middle School in Cocoa, Sea Park Elementary in Satellite Beach, South Lake Elementary in Titusville and Gardendale Elementary on Merritt Island.
“As we face challenging economic times, it has become imperative to present phase one of our plan designed to address the capital needs of Brevard Public Schools to the Board of Education,” Binggeli writes in the memo. “During the Board workshop scheduled today from 1 – 3 p.m. I will be recommending the closure of Clearlake Middle School, Sea Park Elementary, Gardendale Elementary and South Lake Elementary.
“I wanted to share with you this decision and assure you that we will work diligently to support our schools, students and staff through the redistricting process. I understand there will be questions and concerns from our staff and community members,” Binggeli is quoted in the memo as saying. “As the process moves forward, be assured that we will provide the appropriate communications in a timely fashion.”
Brevard voters rejected a half-cent sales tax increase 52 to 48 percent last week that could have raised more than $32 million for the district’s capital needs.
The district had earmarked the sales tax increase revenue for its capital budget to repair school roofs, air conditioners, purchase new computers and obtain new school buses.
Closing these four schools is estimated to save the district about $3 million annually.
A public hearing about the school closures will be held in December and a final decision by the school board will be voted on in January.