By MIKE NESTER
SAVANNA—The Savanna City Council Tuesday, Dec. 10, discussed the possible closing of the West Carroll High School building in Savanna and approved adopting a resolution to condemn the possible closing of the school.
Mayor Chris Lain said the West Carroll School District is considering having two attendance sites instead of three, and closing the high school in Savanna.
"I don't want to see it gone and have another empty building in town," Mayor Lain said, encouraging Savanna council members to contact school board members to express their opposition
Savanna City Attorney Phil Jensen told council members that from a legal standpoint, there is nothing the city can do because the school district is its own taxing public body and makes its own decisions.
Jensen said the council and community should start a petition to object to the possible closure of the high school and attend school board meetings. If the school board does decide to close the high school, the council and school board could form an ad-hoc committee and come up with a re-purpose for the building.
The city attorney explained that if the school board does end up selling the building, they can require a performance bond if the building is not torn down. Jensen said the school board would have to agree to an ad-hoc committee as well as a possible performance bond if they sell the site.
"From a legal standpoint, the city can't force the school board's hand but from a political standpoint, the community can put pressure on them," Jensen told city officials.
Ald. Roger Husband said the closing of a school is a financial decision and will depend on declining enrollment and the cost of implementing new building codes.
The resolution opposing the closing of the high school building is expected to be approved at the Jan. 14 meeting.