Central Plains School Board votes to close school

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The Central Plains USD 112 Board of Education has voted to close the district's middle school.   The vote was 5-2 last night.

Central Plains Middle School will close July 1,  as a cost cutting measure.  The decision comes after months of discussion and speculation. Superintendent Greg Clark said the district has been looking at the possibly of closing a school and decided on CPMS because of the lower number of students. 

"We've been concerned since last September about our enrollment numbers. We've probably in the last three years been operating in a deficit," said Clark. 

Administrators believed the district did not have enough students to operate four school buildings.  

Community members are upset over the decision, saying it's not in the best interest of the students. Dennis Zink has four grandchildren enrolled in schools in the district. 

Zink and several others presented information and ideas at school board meetings in the last weeks, asking board members to reconsider. 

"It just seemed like we would talk to them and bring things up and they just don't want to listen to anything," said Zink. 

"It caught us off guard," he said, "I mean we knew it might happen, but we still had hope."

Jef Dohrman lives nearby. Dohrman fears that the closure will have a negative effect on Bushton. 

"I think we're going to lose a lot of kids when they see the instability here," said Dohrman, "These kids are our future, that's the reality of it."

The school, in Bushton, housed the district's 5th-8th grades.

The 5th and 6th graders will be moved to the elementary school in Holyrood,  while the 7th and 8th graders will be relocated to Central Plains High School in Claflin.   

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