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School facilities committee takes shape

School board member Janet Harckham heads the school utilization committee that will be reviewing possibilities for maximizing the efficiency of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District’s facilities and look into the possibility of closing an elementary school. At the Feb. 7 board meeting, she reported on the progress of the committee that is now being formed and could include up to 33 people. This will include district staff, faculty, parents, administrators, and members of the community who do not have children in the school system, Ms. Harckham said.

“We would like it to be very open, transparent and inclusive, because it involves every stakeholder in our district,” she said.

The committee may even have its meetings televised, she said.

But a few board members expressed reservations about the ability of such a large committee to function fluidly and tackle the task set before it.

“It seems to me 25 would be a lot more manageable than 33,” board President Mark Lipton said.

Ms. Harckham was confident the scope of a possible elementary school closure warranted the size of the new committee, and with the group broken into smaller working groups, the number of people would be more manageable, she said.

“I don’t think we are going to need everyone all the time,” she said. “I think we want everyone who wants to participate to be involved. This is a very serious topic and it affects a lot of people. In my mind there is no reason to be afraid of the numbers as long as it can be managed.”

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