About the Facilities/Consolidation Study
The District undertook the facilities study to determine the feasibility of consolidating the District from three school buildings into two school buildings. The realities of decreasing enrollment, a soft economy, the new property tax threshold and the federal deficit combine to make cost savings a priority for all school districts. By undertaking the study, the District has allowed itself ample time to plan for any possible changes before financial constraints force the issue.
In November, 2011 the Board of Education hired a consultant group from Questar III BOCES to perform a study to determine the most efficient use of all the school buildings in the Chatham Central School District. The facilities study group from Questar III focused on how the physical utilization of building space can best support a 21st Century education program for the students of Chatham.
The study team was tasked with answering the following questions:
1. Can our educational program be delivered in two of the existing three buildings?
2. If so, which two buildings should be utilized?
3. How should the program, grade levels, and space be configured to best achieve District programmatic goals?
4. Will there be any cost savings to such a move?
The Questar III study was completed in the spring of 2012, and the results were made public in June, 2012. The facilities study report provides logistical data on how District facilities are currently utilized, and identified the Middle School building as the best candidate for closure, as well as the potential cost savings closing the Middle School would realize, and the impact closing the school would have on the High School and Mary E. Dardess Elementary School. The full report is available here...
The report also supplied data on the recommended future use of District space and made recommendations on necessary changes to the existing space, including new construction/modifications to support relocation of the students and program from the Middle School to the HS/MED campus.
With the Faciltities Study completed, the District held community discussions in August and September, 2012 to share the findings of the report and gather feedback from the community.
Following these two Town Hall Meetings and based on the findings of the Faciltities Study and feedback from the community, the Board decided to move forward with its look into consolidation by fully exploring the reccomendations of the Faciltites Study report. As the Board progressed with its study, it scheduled several public discussions to share its progress and gather more public feedback on particular topics.
In January, 2013, the Board held another Town Hall meeting to share both enrollment projections and financial challenges the District is currently facing. In February the Board held it's fourth Town Hall meeting to discuss grade 7-12 program options at the current CHS building.
In March and April, the District held its fifth and sixth Town Hall meeting to share information about possible capital projects: The design concept includes reconfigured and additional space at MED and CHS, safety upgrades, and improved traffic and parking patterns. The Board also provided details on capital improvements that would be proposed should the District not consolidate. Also at this meeting, a team of teaching staff presented their recommendations for a grade 7-12 program. This team was tasked with exploring how other schools in our area have implemented similar 7-12 programs, to determine what was best for students and make recommendations on how a grade 7-12 building would best be implemented in Chatham, should the Board decide to consolidate.
On June 11, the Board hosted its seventh Town Hall Meeting to present its consolidation study process and findings in their entirety, and to solicit feedback from the public for a final time before voting on the issue.
One June 25, 2013, the Board voted in favor of consolidating the District, effective September, 2015.
The Board is currently developing a capital project to support consolidating the District, which is expected to be put before voters as a referendum in November, 2013. If approved by voters, construction will likely begin in the late spring/summer of 2014.
- Consolidation Newsletter - June, 2013
- Town Hall Meeting Presentation June 11, 2013
- Superintendents Letter to the Editor, June 2013
- Superintendent's Recommendation to the Board Presentation - May 28, 2013
- Capital Project Update Presentation - May 28, 2013
- Focus Groups Report- April 15, 2013
- Updated Consolidation Savings and Cost Avoidance Presentation March/April, 2013
- Capital Project Presentation - March/April, 2013
- 7-12 Program Specifications Presentation - March/April, 2013
- 7-12 Program Specifications Report - March 21, 2013
- Town Hall Meeting Presentation, Grade 7-12 Options - February 26, 2013
- Facilities Process Update Presentation - Feb. 12, 2013
- Focus Groups Report- Jan. 15. 2013
- Town Hall Meeting Presentation, Process & Program - Jan. 3, 2013
- Town Hall Meeting Presentation, Enrollment & Financial - Jan. 3, 2013
- Facilities Process Update Presentation Nov. 27, 2012
- Proposed Facilities Study Process/Timeline Presentation - Oct. 16, 2012
- Town Hall Meeting Presentations - Aug.14/Sept.11, 2012
- QIII Facilities Study Report- June, 2012
- QIII Facilities Study Team's mid-study update to BOE - February, 2012
- Superintendent's Letter to Parents - March, 2011
- BOE President's Letter to Editor - March, 2011
- Board Presentation on Facilities Study Process - January 11, 2011
Questions & Answers
For more information, check out our Facilities Study Q&A web resource...
Enrollment Projection Study
Separate from, but related to, the facilities study is an enrollment projection study the District completed at the end of 2011.The number of students attending classes at Chatham in the future will have an impact on how our schools are configured. According to the study's projections, Chatham can expect to see a gradual decrease in enrollment over the next decade.
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This webpage will be updated with information related to the facilities study as it becomes available.