The school board has decided to merge Walker into Buford, Brandon Shulleeta writes in today’s Daily Progress. They’re going to renovate Buford Middle School, shut down Walker Upper Elementary, and put the fifth graders into elementary schools and the sixth–eighth graders into Buford. Walker will likewise be refurbished, but to serve as space for preschool, adult education, and office space for staff.
14 thoughts on “School Board Finalizes Buford/Walker Plans”
At a whopping cost of $36 million?
I believe the state money is in the form of a loan.
I hope this works. I really liked the present system with 5/6 at Walker and 7/8 at Buford
This is one of the least-surprising stupid boondogle ideas in recent CCS history. Let’s spend tons of money for a facility renovation that allows us to keep expanding Central Office despite a declining enrollment! Yay!
@Pete, this whole exercise started out as a way to save tax payer dollars. How long is it going to take to recover the $36M?
I havent walked the property at the soon to be superfluous location, but it probably would have worked as a location for the transit system depot that the city bought and build on Avon St. just a couple of years ago. Not that anyone in City government is ever concerned with saving money or repurposing resources with the tax-payer in mind.
Why not put a YMCA in the extra building? Way better than the park concept.
What a total waste of time and money!
Why didn’t they just do this years ago and combine Walker and Buford, instead of doing 5 and 6 at one school and 7 and 8th at another. (and that only happened because the Buford Middle School (6-8) couldn’t make/meet necessary test scores/standards. So the solution to raise those scores/standards was instead to water them all down.
This school board got so lost in the particulars that it forgot what problems it was trying to solve. Therefore, in a few more years a different school board will reverse what this one has done. We have had first hrough seventh and eighth through twelfth, next first through fifth, all sixth, seventh through ninth, tenth through twelfth, then first through fifth, sixth through eighth, ninth through twelfth, then first through fourth, fifth through sixth, seventh through eighth, and ninth through twelfth. None of it made a difference upon the student population learning.I think it is a matter of school boards wanting people to think they are making a difference. Is the rationale for the new changes written up anywhere?
A someone who lives across the street from Walker, I’m curious what the plans are for the current soccer field, exercise park, etc.
the original rationale for this came from the efficiency study the board conducted a few years ago. I believe you can still access the study from the ccs website.
and, justbob, Walker and Buford were paired in the mid-1980s when the main test was given in 10th grade. My understanding of the pairing–though, admittedly, I was a middle schooler myself back then–is that it was done to ease tensions at CHS by bringing city students together sooner. If you look at the demographics of the schools that fed into both Walker and Buford, there were sharp class and race distinctions between the two schools.
However is spending $36M incre3asing efficiency? It is not that they are planning to shut the school down, saving electricity and heat, or selling the building. It’s going to be in full use. I suspect the board has lost sight of what problems it is trying to solve.
I totally agree.
I haven’t followed the story closely enough to say whether or not it will improve efficiency. They claim there will be some transportation savings with one less bus run, but the “real” savings will come from the rental costs they have for various additional facilities (adult ed, the suspension center, the alternative program). There will also obviously be savings on staff. The board is claiming only staff reduction will be a principal, but I don’t see how that will happen. I am sure that within a couple of years, a number of teaching positions will be cut as well.
That said, I don’t think there will be any true efficiency savings from this. I’m also not sure that city council will agree to the necessary bonds to make this happen. The capital improvement forecasts I saw at the last council meeting definitely did not include this expenditure.
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