A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday ahead of the referendum in Randolph on the closure of its elementary school at the end of the school year.

The public hearing will be held in the board room of the district office at 150 Highland Ave. in Gardiner.

Then a referendum vote is scheduled for May 15, at the Randolph Town Office. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Gardiner-area school board voted in March to close the Teresa C. Hamlin school, following an evaluation by an ad-hoc committee appointed of the School Administrative District 11 board.

Enrollment at the school dropped to about 40 after a teacher left shortly after the start of the school year and her multi-grade class was transferred to Pittston. The school has a capacity of 155.

When any school district opts to close a school, the process is laid out in state law. It includes calculating the savings that would result from the closure, a vote by the school board and a referendum vote in the town affected by the closure.


A “yes” vote would ratify the closure of the school; a “no” vote would keep it open.

If Randolph voters overrule the school board’s decision at the polls, Randolph taxpayers would be responsible for paying the annual costs of keeping the school open. That cost has been determined to be $452,000.

Back in October, an ad hoc committee to the school board started examining options for the elementary school. In a series of meetings, the committee — made up of district administrators, educators, school board members, Randolph elected officials and parents — considered Randolph’s population, projections of student populations in the district, the savings to the district if the school were to be closed, and the logistics of splitting elementary grades between the Randolph school and the Pittston Consolidated School just over a mile away.

In early January, the committee made a recommendation to close the school in Randolph and to acquire a modular classroom building to be installed at the Pittston school to accommodate students from both Pittston and Randolph. At a forum the district held in Randolph at the end of January, parents from both Randolph and Pittston said they were concerned about the move.

In February, the Randolph Board of Selectmen hosted a public hearing for town residents to discuss the effect of relocating Randolph students. Randolph selectmen have said they are interested in continuing discussions with the district over the use of the building. It’s the town’s emergency shelter and where the Randolph has held its Town Meeting every July.

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