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Elmsford Looks at Consolidation of Two Schools

ELMSFORD, N.Y. – In the coming years, families at Alice E. Grady Elementary School and Carl L. Dixson Primary School could see the two schools consolidated under one roof.

The Elmsford Union Free School District commissioned an architectural firm to look at the viability of combining its two smaller schools, said Elsa Kortwright-Torres, principal of Grady and Dixson.

"A lot of the motivation is that Dixson is becoming an older building and it's becoming harder to maintain and harder to upkeep," said Matthew Evans, president of the Elmsford school board. "The taskforce started because we were asking if it would make more sense for the district and the community as a whole to move the students out of the building as it's only getting older."

Dixson was built in 1894 and was the first school in Elmsford. Grady is newer, built in the 1950s with a second wing added in 2000. If the two schools were to merge, the board would commission an addition onto Grady to accommodate the three additional grades.

The consolidation would save the school board money in operating costs from the closed school, officials said. The board said it was unclear how much money could be saved including other money-saving factors. The consolidation would also add a level of cohesion to the district by having all of the younger grades together in the same building, said school officials.

"It was our facilities taskforce that was tasked with looking at Dixson to see what it is we wanted to do if we wanted to move Dixson up to Grady or if we wanted to renovate Dixson," said Evans. "The firm will work with us over 2012 to look at moving Dixson to Grady."

If Dixson does indeed move to Grady, the school district is uncertain about the future of the Dixson building. Evans said the community would have input on the decision before the final verdict is made toward the end of 2012.

"That's something that we can all start to look forward to," Evans said. "It's just something in its infancy stages now."

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