Consolidation of schools evaluated

WILTON – The consolidation of Wilton and Lyndeborough schools into one K-12 cooperative district will have to wait until an Oct. 23 meeting to vote on the proposal. That is the latest the Florence Rideout Elementary School Board can wait if the question is to be on the district meeting warrant in March.

The possibility of combining the three districts – one each for Wilton, Lyndeborough and Wilton-Lyndeborough high school – has been under consideration for several years. The current joint study committee has prepared a draft of proposed changes to the two towns’ articles of agreement.

The idea continues to generate debate. “All of our concerns have been addressed, and it’s time to let the people decide,” Board Chairman Gilbert Hargrove said. But board member Joyce Fisk said, “I’m not completely sold this is the way to go. I need a lot more information.”

Fisk said if she had to vote now, without the information she wants, “I’d have to vote no.”

Hargrove said, “It’s time to stop talking about it and do it. I think, in the long run, it is in our best interest.”

The superintendent’s office will compile the information Fisk and Ed Popek, another board member, are requesting.

The proposed changes have to be approved by the state Department of Education. Superintendent of Schools Leo Corriveau said should be done in November, which allows time for revisions if needed in time for a public hearing in January.

If approved by voters, the consolidation would take effect on July 1, 2010.