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Education

Davenport Elementary begins final month of operations

Superintendent: D-424 to consider selling building

GENOA – Teachers and students at Davenport Elementary School will find themselves at a new school building next year, and Genoa-Kingston School District 424 officials are considering what to do with the property.

Davenport, one of five buildings in District 424, will close at the end of this school year, and students and staff will move into the district's other two elementary schools.

In October, board members approved closing the building at 123 W. First St., a couple of blocks north of downtown Genoa. The closure will reduce salary and utility costs by about $300,000 a year, district Superintendent Joe Burgess said. That number is based on of the average operating costs of all three elementary schools.

Davenport’s early childhood through second-grade students will shift to Kingston Elementary School, which currently houses second- and third-graders. Genoa Elementary School will take the third-graders, while also housing fourth- and fifth-grade students.

Burgess said the shuffling is the result of declining enrollment in the district. It should not require additional classrooms and will not increase class sizes, he said.

“Ten years ago, class sizes were around the 150 to 175 mark, and now 100 or so is a normal-sized group," he said. "So we don’t need as many classrooms.”

Burgess said district officials are considering selling the property, and further plans will be discussed during upcoming board meetings.

The building's closure had been proposed previously as a way to address declining enrollment trends and budget problems. Other proposals have included closing the elementary and middle schools to build an academic center for kindergarten through eighth grade, or to do nothing and address budget deficits through staff, program and maintenance cuts.

Burgess said the consolidation plans are expected to be completed by the end of June.

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