Shelby County proposes to consolidate multiple schools

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- There's a proposal to consolidate multiple Shelby County Schools and it could bring sweeping changes to several neighborhoods, including Parkway Village, Orange Mound and North Shelby County.

The plan calls for seven schools to eventually close and three new schools to be built.

"What we're doing is we're combining some underperforming schools also into a better performing school," said Shelby County School Board Chairman Chris Caldwell.

Caldwell said the buildings are also old, forcing the district to continually shell out money.

"Rather than continuing to put money into building that are in need of repair, we're taking some offline and coming up with a new building," he explained.

One school set for demolition is Knight Road Elementary. Those students would go a few miles away to Goodlett.

While there's several slated buildings set to come down there's also plans for others to pop up. One example is at Goodlett where there's plans to have a new state of the art campus

consolidationThere's also plans to build a new campus at Alcy Elementary and rebuild the Woodstock facility reconfiguring it to K-12.

Another school set to eventually go is Dunbar Elementary in Orange Mound. It would be consolidated into Bethel Grove Elementary and Cherokee Elementary.

"They really doin good for this neighborhood," said dad, Lashley Wells.

Wells has two children at the school. He understands the argument for the consolidation but likes things how they are now.

"I don't think it's gonna be good to spread them out like they always do because they'll have to make new friends you know? Start off with new teachers," he said.

However Caldwell said students won't be going far.

"All these buildings are in close proximity so it's not like we're moving them to another part of the city," he explained.

With shrinking enrollment the district said consolidation is a solution to save money but there's still several steps in the process. Those include the school board signing off on the deal and asking county commission for the millions to make the projects possible.

The School Board could decide in December whether or not to move forward with the plans and they won't all happen at once.

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