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Chippewa Hills School Board Discusses Elementary School Changes

A Northern Michigan school district is now one step closer to having a plan in place once they demolish an elementary school.

The Chippewa Hills School Board decided they will build another school when they tear down Barryton Elementary School.

The school’s going to be torn down around the 2019 school year.

The school says it would cost more to repair than to replace it.

Up to this point we’ve enjoyed the feedback of the community.

Parents and community members packed in to the auditorium at Chippewa Hills High School to listen to the board discuss what to do when they tear down Barryton Elementary School. They looked at three options: building a school in its place, moving the school to a centralized location, or moving students to two existing elementary schools. The board listened for hours to what people had to say.

"Be able to bring that all back together to come up with a decision to finalize this process and actually have the Barryton building created," said Douglas Bitler.

Several people who attended the meeting say the school is important to the Barryton community. They also wanted the district to act according to the language of a bond proposal passed a couple years ago, saying an elementary school would be built in that location.

"I’m hoping we retain an elementary school there. I think it’s vital to our little village and I encourage the board to vote to that," said a meeting attendee.

But not everyone agreed. Some like John Orr think a centralized location would have been the best call for students.

"All the kids growing up together and they’re classroom which would be better for students. When they come from one elementary then another and are all thrown together do they have the same education are they as far along? We do not know that until they come into the classroom," said John.

At their next meeting the board will discuss possible grade reconfiguration.