Granville Co. Public Schools to discuss closing Creedmoor Elementary at meeting Tuesday

The Granville County School Board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at South Granville High School in Creedmoor to discuss the possible closure of Creedmoor Elementary School (CES).

The board is deciding whether it wants to close the elementary school in order to move G.C. Hawley Middle School (GCHMS) there instead.

Members of the public who wish to comment on this issue can sign up at 5 p.m. to speak at the meeting. The district said anyone who signs up to speak before 6 p.m. will be given the opportunity to address the board for up to three minutes.

However, the school board will ultimately be the deciding factor.

Accoridng to N.C.G.S. § 115C-47(1), the Board of Education has specific legal authority when it comes to decisions regarding school reorganization: “Local boards of education shall have the power and authority to close or consolidate schools located in the same district . . . whenever and wherever in its judgment the closing or consolidation will better serve the educational interest of the local school administrative unit or any part of it.”

The district said the closure of CES will cause a major disruption to its students and staff in the Creedmoor area.

“The potential decision of the Granville County School Board to close CES and transfer these students to neighboring elementary schools would require significant effort to implement,” the district wrote in a 2020 closure study.

GCHMS has four elementary schools that feed into it: Tar River, Wilton, Mt. Energy and Creedmoor. The school board has stated that GCHMS students and staff will fit into the smaller Creedmoor campus. However, all of the students attending CES would have to be transferred to one of the other seven elementary schools in the district.

The relocation of GCHMS will be a temporary move until the county can decide what to do with the current Hawley buildings — which are in bad shape, according to the district.

The issue of moving GCHMS was tabled by the board last year for further study, but resurfaced when two of the newest board members were sworn in the first week of December.

Teachers and staff at CES were notified of the possible closure by email on Dec. 19, just as Christmas break had started.

Teachers, staff, students and parents will march from CES to South Granville High School at 5 p.m. in opposition of closing the elementary school.

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