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District finances in trouble; GES feels the heat

Savannah Reams: Greene Publishing, Inc.

It was 1980 when Greenville High School was closed and consolidated with Madison County High School and, many years later, Greenville Middle School followed suit. The closure of these schools injured the small town's economy, fueling the closure of businesses and the loss of residents. The towns' last remaining school is Greenville Elementary School (GES)—an institution the community is proud of. While the school may be small, it represents something much larger—hope. Many great men and women have walked the halls of GES, going on to accomplish amazing feats. Those who hail from Greenville, recognize the town's historic value and the future's potential. In fact, the future is right around the corner for this, once again, blossoming town.

2018 was an incredible year for the Town of Greenville. The community received grant funding to build a senior citizen and youth center. They were also awarded 1.7 million dollars from former Governor Rick Scott to expand the town's economy. Soon, Greenville will have a fully-functioning grocery store, a mattress manufacturing facility and over 150 jobs will be created. Furthermore, the town went through great lengths to secure funding to replace the malfunctioning lift station at GES. Greenville's Town Council was informed that, under no circumstances would the District fund the lift station's replacement. An ultimatum was given: either fix the station yourselves or we close GES and consolidate the school with Madison County Central School (MCCS).

With all of Greenville's recent expansion, in particular, the recent lift station replacement in order to keep the school functioning at A-plus levels, there was an outcry when GES Principal Shirley Joseph was instructed to jump into gear and make extreme changes at GES, due to the school's financial burden on the district. The largest of these changes included the closure of the GES gymnasium, as well as the collapse of B-Wing. B-Wing houses grades pre-kindergarten through third, including two kindergarten classes. These classes, their contents and their teachers will be moved to A-wing, the only building left in operation besides the cafeteria. With an understanding that drastic cuts such as these are never a good sign, GES's SAC (School Advisory Council) came together to discuss the changes. However, little did they know, a recommendation would soon be made to the Madison County School Board that GES close its doors for good.

Read the full story in the Jan. 18, 2019 issue of The Madison Enterprise-Recorder.

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