Hamilton, Garfield, & Ericsson Parents Speak Out On Possible Changes

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Expand one, close one, change one – that is the proposed plan from the Moline School District in regards to three of its elementary schools.

Under the administration’s recommendations, Hamilton Elementary would be expanded, Garfield Elementary would close, and Ericsson Elementary would be changed into a community center. It’s all part of a three-year plan presented to the school board last week and also includes changes to school security and class schedules. For more information, click here.

Also tonight, Dr. David Moyer – Superintendent of the Moline School District – held the second of three public meetings at Hamilton to explain the plan. He says it could save the District between $300,000 and $400,000 every year while improving student achievement. The recommendation presented includes Hamilton closing in Fall 2014 for construction, then re-opening in Fall 2015 to house 600 students with four classes for each grade.

Many community members, like Terri Foutsch, are concerned about the amount of traffic when more students are going to Hamilton.

“The traffic is bad now so it’s going to be a lot worse,” she says.

Others, like Jesse Campbell, are worried about the amount of students in classrooms.

“I was really opposed to the fact of getting a larger school and larger classes,” he says. “We like the small community, small classes, and I think that’s going away from what I hear.”

If you weren’t able to make it to the first two public meetings, the last one is this Wednesday, May 1st at 6pm at Garfield Elementary School, 1518 25th Avenue, Moline, IL.

The school board will make its decision on Monday, May 13th, 2013.

Following tonight’s public meeting, the Floreciente Community held a press conference concerning Ericsson, their neighborhood school. They say Ericsson School is the leading school for bilingual students and it should not close. “Floreciente” translated means “flourishing” and community members say they’re afraid of what will happen to their neighborhood if the school is taken away.