PALMYRA, Maine — The town consolidated school is no longer after a lopsided vote Tuesday in which residents overwhelmingly decided to close it down.
The final tally, according to Town Clerk Val Sprague, was 329-34 in favor of closing the school. The vote represented the final step of a process that has been unfolding for months. The RSU 19 board opted to close the school as part of a plan to pare $1.5 million from its fiscal year 2011 budget, which is plagued by revenue shortfalls not unlike most other public school budgets in the state.
A vote against closing the school Tuesday would have required the town of Palmyra to pay $448,292 on top of its regular contribution to public education. The school board, Superintendent William Braun and at least one selectman all urged residents to vote yes to close the school.
The students who attended Palmyra Consolidated School and the teachers who taught there already have been reassigned to other schools in Hartland, Corinna and Newport. Braun told the Bangor Daily News on Monday that he expects the school board to turn ownership of the facility over to the town at its meeting on Aug. 17.