BIRDSBORO, Pa. - Officials and community members are uniting in a fight to save the Birdsboro Elementary Center from closure.
"We're no longer going to take it," said Sharon Morris, a borough native whose children attend the school. "It's sad because I grew up in the town."
The school, which serves approximately 400 students each year, has been at risk of closure since last February when Daniel Boone School Board members voted 5-4 in favor of considering the measure.
Those in support of the closure have cited budgetary concerns, namely those involving the school's broken boilers. Replacing the system would come with a high price tag.
"I understand that and I respect that, but look what you're going to our children," said Morris.
"This is a hasty decision, and this is not something that our public wants," said Cindy McGee, a Birdsboro councilwoman.
Others in the community agree, as demonstrated with petitions and signs present all throughout the borough. Business windows read "Keep Calm and Save BEC" or "S.O.S. - Save our School." Many are advertising a community rally scheduled for Sun., March 23 at 1:30 p.m. at "Main Bird Park" in the borough.
"It doesn't take a lot to rally the people of Birdsboro," said borough Manager Aaron Durso. "We're a tight-knit community. We ban together on a lot of issues."
Durso told 69 News he fears the closure could harm the town's vitality, result in job loss and hinder student learning. He said students would be jammed into classrooms in surrounding schools.
"You're watering down the education process… they're really hindering the education process," said Durso. "Whereas, they should be fostering an education process, not making decisions to eliminate staff to save their budget."
On Wednesday, 69 News reached out to Daniel Boone School Board President Rich Martino, who voted in favor of considering the closure. Martino declined to comment, stating in an email that "all discussion by board members regarding the potential closure must take place at the public hearing."
That public hearing is scheduled for Mon., March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the district's middle school auditorium.
The general meeting begins at 6 p.m., and many residents of Birdsboro intend to be there.
"That's our main goal, to have that place packed," said Morris.
"Bring your kids," said Durso. "Let 'em look at the face of these children, and say 'This is who you're impacting.'"
Allentown, PA 18102
- Lehigh Valley freeimages.com/Jason Morrison