Parents lash out at plan to close Malta school

The search for new land to build a new elementary school brought several parents concerned over the closure of Malta Avenue Intermediate School out to the Ballston Spa Central School District's Board of Education meeting Wednesday, April 9.

Many parents lamented that they had no say in the decision, which was adopted by the board before they decided to reconfigure in February.

Parent Shannon Hansen said she felt the decision to close Malta Avenue was not made effectively.

Most people didn't know this was happening, Hansen said.

But according to Keith Stewart, board vice president, the process has been three years in the making.

Another mother said she was collecting signatures for a petition to oppose the closing of Malta Avenue, and only two people she had spoken with were aware that the school was actually going to close.

The Board of Education has been looking for land throughout the district on which to build a new elementary school.

In a Wednesday, April 2, meeting with the Malta Town Board, the Board of Education said they had looked at several parcels of land to purchase in Malta for the new elementary school.

"We do need to do a better job in communicating the factors that went into that decision," Stewart said.

Once the new school is built, several years down the road, the district will close Malta Avenue Intermediate School to students, but will keep the building for administration offices.

Jennifer Edmiston, a mother of children in the district's elementary school, said she is in favor of building a new school because the facilities at Wood Road Intermediate School are not comparable to those at Malta Avenue.

"We do need an updated facility," she said.

While Edmiston said a new elementary school does need to be built, she said that the new attendance zones, announced earlier this month, are problematic.

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