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School Board No Longer Wants to Maintain Nathan Hale School

Board of Education members don't want to be responsible for the costs associated with maintaining the now closed Nathan Hale Elementary School.

After first voting to take Nathan Hale Elementary School "offline" last year, then voting earlier this year to formally deem former Spruce Street school closed, the Board of Education said Wednesday that it no longer wants to be responsible for the costs associated with maintaining the building either. 

Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel told the Board of Education during its meeting Wednesday night that the district had been paying minimal heating, utilities and custodial costs associated with the school, but that up until several weeks ago it still had supplies and equipment in the building. Kisiel said the district now has "no use for the building," while the town has been using the gym and the cafeteria for recreation activities. 

"It's reaching a point right now where we don't have money in the budget to cover for heating in the building, and we're heating it," Kisiel said.

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Kisiel suggested that the school board could vote to formally turn the building over to the town, or try to work out some arrangement where the town reimbursed the school board for costs associated with the building. 

Michael Crockett, a Republican member of the school board, said he didn't want the district paying to maintain the building any longer, but that he feared turning the building over to the town might mean the school system would not be able to use it in the future. Crockett noted preliminary discussions about possibly establishing a charter school in town have noted that Nathan Hale might be an ideal site. 

"I am quite scared that if we do turn it over, we might not get it back," Crockett said. 

But Neal Leon, a Democratic member of the school board, said he thought the board should relinquish the property to the town, because he was confident that town leaders would return the building if the district had use of it in the future. 

"I don't think that town officials would hesitate to give that back as a magnet school," Leon said. 

Ultimately, the school board decided to table a decision until its next meeting because several members were absent. 

Mark LeClair February 20, 2013 at 02:12 PM
We have to assume that Nutmegger his or herself is volunteering without pay to sacrifice up to 20 hours a week for the town of Manchester. Otherwise, what reason would he/she have to imply impropriety of those who do?
Mark LeClair February 20, 2013 at 02:14 PM
How much property and businesses are you willing to purchase and sustain with your own money? It's too easy to sit at home at your computer and think about ways other people should be spending their money, isn't it Ms. Joyner?
Edie February 22, 2013 at 06:25 AM
I would like to add the Post Office to your list along with the smaller ones that closed on Main Street, making it harder for people to get to a post office because of where it is now located and for some business they need to go a lot further to pick up their mail. I agree with you it seems like the center of town is being abandoned.
tina bourke February 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM
^ I read they are opening a couple of new businesses on Main so it is looking up. Also looks like the MCC Arts building which was donated has a lot of traffic....... Mail has decreased since cyber world etc., and they may even close mailings on Saturday's I read.
Anne April 18, 2014 at 05:00 PM
I agree with wanting to know where the savings went to? We don't need the school opened again. Really who were the ones attending? Oh right, the renters that moved from Hartford and had their family member drop off their kids on the side street, parking in front of owners driveway to enjoy our school. Then they pick up and leave the properties in disarray, lower the property value too. Never mind all the wonderful loitering, drug dealing and lack of consideration to property owners. I believe there should be a tuition for each kid that goes to the schools to help with the extra up keep over the taxes. Especially for those who don't have children or use the buildings. It's like paying more for insurance so others who don't have health insurance.

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