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      Looking to consolidate schools

      On Tuesday May 6 Bessemer residents will be able to vote on a five million dollar bond to help maintain their schools. But some school board members are against the bond and are looking to consolidate Bessemer and Wakefield-Marinesco schools to save money.

      School board member Kim Wright says the student population continues to decline. He says since last school year, Bessemer lost eleven students leaving the school with 447 students. The idea is to conduct a study to find out if consolidating schools between Bessemer and Wakefield will save the districts money on upkeep of aging facilities.

      "Once we agree to a bond we've already borrowed the money. So, we're stuck where as with consolidation we aren't stuck. We can study consolidation if we see it's right then boom we move forward. If we see that it's wrong we go back to the bond," explained Wright.

      Wright says it would potentially close Washington Elementary School and all k-thru-6 students would move to the Wakefield-Marinesco school. A petition to consolidate the schools is being certified by the county to be put on the August ballot.