Chambersburg school board votes to close elementary school

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The Chambersburg Area school board voted to close Marion Elementary School during Wednesday night’s meeting.

The board voted 6-3 in favor of the closure.

The school, which is about a century old, educated nearly 130 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade.

The plan is to demolish the school, but then rebuild. The construction would make the school double its current size.

The price tag for the project is $8 million.

The board’s recent decision, however, was not without some controversy.

One dissenting school board member said the money could be better spent to combat classroom overcrowding. She added that the move to demolish and rebuild Marion Elementary doesn’t help.

Student population is an ongoing issue in the district. Officials say Chambersburg is the fourth fastest-growing in the state.

“We have roughly 100 children coming in each year, elementary a lot of them, so our class sizes are large and we would like to get the class sizes a little smaller but we need space to do that,” superintendent Dr. Joseph Padasak said.

For the upcoming school year, students at Marion will attend New Franklin Elementary. That school is under construction, but the project is set to finish next month.

Marion is scheduled to open in January of 2016.

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