CHEROKEE COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) Cherokee County School District 5 will be saying goodbye to one of its middle schools at the end of the 2018-2019 school year after the school board deemed it "beyond reasonable repair."
According to District 5 Trustee RJ Holly, the school board made the decision Monday evening to close Granard Middle School citing growing structural and environmental deficiencies.
"Previous administrations and boards could have dealt with the issues years before they became critical but their negligence caused this board to deal with this safety issue," said Holly in a Facebook post.
The students attending Granard will be consolidated into Gaffney and Ewing Middle Schools to start the next school year.
Holly said the decision was inevitable, but tough to make all the same.
"The safety of the students and teachers are the district's top priority," he said. "Let's move forward together."
Principal Gavin Fisher released a statement to parents the day after the board's decision.
He says that the board hopes in closing the school, the district will be able to save money, and eventually build another Granard Middle School in the next five to six years.
"Funds that were earmarked for upgrades to our building from the previous 1 cent sales tax that haven’t been spent will not be used to upgrade our school at this time, but instead saved to be used toward a new school in the future," Fisher said.
His full statement can be found below:
Dear Warrior Parents, Grandparents, and Guardians,
It is with a deeply saddened heart that I send this message to you all.
Last night the Cherokee County School Board voted to close down Granard Middle School and consolidate our students and staff with Gaffney Middle and Ewing Middle. Consolidation will take place to begin the 2019-2020 school year or the 2020-2021 school year. A decision on the timeline will be decided upon by our Interim Superintendent Mr. Donald Andrews who presented this proposal last night to the board.
The reasoning for the school board’s decision to shutter Granard is based upon concerns for building upgrades that we all know are desperately needed, but the district doesn’t have the funds to address. By closing our doors, the district hopes to save money, which will be earmarked annually to build a new Granard Middle School 5-6 years from now. Funds that were earmarked for upgrades to our building from the previous 1 cent sales tax that haven’t been spent will not be used to upgrade our school at this time, but instead saved to be used toward a new school in the future.
As the principal of our great school, I want to take a moment to say that I am proud of each and every one of our students, secretaries, guidance counselors, teachers, teacher assistants, cafeteria workers, custodians, support staff and the work they have put in over my three years at the helm of this historic school. This school has grown in the three years I’ve been principal, but we stand on the shoulders of so many people who put in tireless hours over the years to build this school into the special place it is. A school is only as good as it’s students, parents, and teachers …..that’s why Granard has always been the middle school of choice here in Gaffney.
It is my hope and my prayer that the work we put in for you and your children impacts each of their lives in a positive way. I make a promise to you each year that you’ll get the best we have, that your kids will be safe, and that your child will be loved when they walk through those doors. I hope that, as we close our doors in the near future, you will reflect and see we did all of those things at the highest level.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve you, your children, and this community. Thank you for dropping your child off with us each day, trusting that we will take care of them. Thank you for always supporting what we do, and more importantly, why we do it.
Monday, April 15, some students, parents, alumni and community members gathered to participate in a march against the school board's decision.
According to a Facebook page dedicated to the march, gatherers intend to show their support for keeping the school open.