It was made official Thursday night that Polk Elementary School will close its doors at the end of the 2013-2014 school year in June. The Pleasant Valley School District board of directors voted 9-0 to close.
"I'm sure everyone sitting here doesn't want to do this but the economy and the declining enrollment makes it necessary," said director Susan Kresge. She noted that it was easier to grow than it is to shrink.
Russ Gould, board president agreed it was sad to close the school. He had been a student at Polk and has a lot of good memories.
Polk Elementary School's building has a long history. It began when the eight one-room schools in the Kresgeville area consolidated in 1929 when a brick building was built to house grades 1-12. The school was built when the Rev. George G. Kunkle, Prof. Leon Werley and O.A. Krechel managed to convince Sebastian S. Kresge, founder of S. S. Kresge stores and later K-Mart, to donate $25,000 for the consolidated school.
In 1961 Polk became an elementary school for K-6th grade. Today it houses K-4th grades with a total of 264 students. Erica Greer is principal.
It is PVSD's third elementary school to close due to declining enrollment. First was Eldred Elementary in 2010, followed by Chestnuthill Elementary in 2013. In 2005-2006, the enrollment was at its peak of 7,024. Now it is 4,986.
Polk's students will attend Pleasant Valley Elementary in the 2014-2015 school year.
The district expects to save money by the closing, with a reduction of seven staff members and a cost reduction of $1,178,664.