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Taylor school board votes to close Kennedy High School

Posted: 6:19 PM, Apr 11, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-11 18:19:46-04

The Taylor School Board unexpectedly decided to close Kennedy High School just two weeks after voting to keep it open.

The topic wasn’t on the agenda and no notice was given, but the district superintendent Ben Williams says no rules were broken.

It’s more than just a closure, it’s a marriage. Two high schools, Truman and Kennedy, will soon become one.
The school board courted the idea for a couple of years, two weeks ago the proposal was turned down.

The Taylor Schools Superintendent says the original vote at the March 31st meeting was posted and advertised, but only 15 people showed up, all in favor of closing Kennedy High School. At that time, the board voted 3-4 against it.

Last night at the meeting, a board member had a change of heart and asked to re-visit the issue. That board member changed his vote from a no to a yes and the closure/merger proposal passed 4-3.

Currently there are only 900 students enrolled at Kennedy but the school can hold 1,600. In 2 years, those 900 students will join the 880 at Truman High School which has a capacity of 2,100.

Operating 2 high schools only half full has been taxing on the districts resources according to Williams. He says once Kennedy is closed, the district will have $2 Million extra dollars a year to invest in student and facility resources at Truman High School.

Which, Williams says will be given a new name. Students will have input on the school name, school colors, mascot, fight song and rebranding.