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      Gwinn Area Community Schools: a decision is made

      The Gwinn school board, Monday night, made a decision on a plan to stabilize the district's finances.

      The school board voted to close Gilbert Elementary School and transfer nearly 600 students to Sawyer. The move will be made this fall.

      The decision was partially based on classroom size--Gilbert Elementary has 21 regular-sized classrooms, whereas Sawyer Elementary has 31.

      T he school board says they did what they felt was best for the children.

      "When I called the United States Department of Education today (Monday) to get the information on Sawyer, that's when the decision became even more difficult. There was nothing that we could do at that time. We also knew it was fiscally irresponsible for us to continue to leave two buildings open," said Kimberly Tufnell, GACS Superintendent.

      In the future, they hope to build an elementary school wing onto the Gwinn High School /Middle School building. But no decision on that was made at Monday night's meeting.

      The Gwinn school district faces a $1.2 million deficit for the next school year.