School Board Votes to Close Watsontown Elementary

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WATSONTOWN -- An elementary school in Northumberland County will be closing by the end of the school year.

However it may not be closed for good. The Warrior Run School District will close Watsontown Elementary as it decides whether to renovate the school or just build a new one.

It's a busy afternoon at both elementary schools in the Warrior Run School District with after-school activities in full swing. But parents say it will just be worse come next school year as the district will close Watsontown Elementary and temporarily relocate children to other schools.

“I think it`s a horrible idea,” said parent Chris Showers.

Currently, kindergarten through fourth grades attend the elementary schools, but this fall, all K through third graders will attend Turbotville. Then all fourth graders will go to the middle school, located next to the high school.

“I am not a fan of the fourth graders going to the middle school,” said Riddell.

“Are they going to have recess?” said Showers. “Because in fourth grade, you should still be having recess and I don't think they should be exposed to all those big kids.”

This temporary relocation is expected to last from two to three years. During that time, the district will either renovate Watsontown Elementary or build a new elementary school.

“I really wasn't a fan of them switching over the kids already when they still don't know what they are doing one way or the other,” said Riddell.

However, some parents say Watsontown needs an update or the district needs a new school.

“I do agree that they need to do something whether it's build or renovate Watsontown,” said Amy Bortz. “Something had to be done, one way or another you're not going to please everyone.”

“I think it's going to be a good thing in the end,” said Lisa Kinney. “I think people just have to be patient to see the end product. The school is outdated.”

If the district decides to renovate Watsontown, then eventually Turbotville will be sold. If a new school is built, then both elementary schools would be sold.