Rally supports keeping Richmond Elementary open

Richmond Elementary rally supports school staying open

FLEETWOOD, Pa. - Parents and students in Richmond Township made their case to keep their school from closing.

The Fleetwood Area School District is facing $1 million deficit, and closing the school is one of the ways the district could cut that deficit in half.

Kids decked in their white "Richmond rocks" t-shirts showed their school spirit Tuesday night outside Fleetwood High School, where the school board held its meeting.

"My father went to Richmond Elementary. I went to Richmond Elementary, and they're going, too, and maybe someday their kids could go, too," said Brad Biehl.

The Biehl family doesn't want that legacy to end.

"We would be really sad to see something like this leave the community," said Biehl.

If the elementary school with 192 kids closed next school year, it would cover about half the deficit.

"The value that's been added here in the class size and teacher in this tight knit community is well worth the cost that it has," said Biehl.

Parents and kids are united in trying to save their school, and the superintendent, Paul Eaken, said the school board is willing to listen.

"I know the board is looking forward to the opportunity to hear from parents and students as to their input," said Eaken.

"If you saved $500,000 a year for the next five years, you've save $2.5 million. If you have to build a $30 million school, what did you really save?" one parent asked the school board.

There was the financial argument and the personal argument.

"Please come and experience the Richmond family for yourself," said a teacher to the school board.

"They're not only looking at the financial cost," said Eaken. "They're also looking at, they wanted to know about the educational implications, as well. Looking at the total picture."

The superintendent said no decision will be made before March.

"I hope they're going to get an appreciation for the community members that see the value in it and hopefully they make the right decision," said Biehl.

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