BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Binghamton City School District is continuing to hold public forums about its proposals to close a school following large public backlash against how the process was rolled out.

The feasibility study is a review of Binghamton’s elementary buildings to determine their physical condition and attendance trends for future generations.

The district says that the current condition of Roosevelt requires that the building either be closed, or rebuilt.

The 6 scenarios proposed include closing Roosevelt and sending the students to other schools, rebuilding Roosevelt and moving kids to another school during construction then closing Wilson, Jefferson or Mann or finally rebuilding Roosevelt and not closing any schools.

Many members of the public, including participants in the feasibility study process, have expressed concern that the district included kindergarten enrollment figures from the pandemic years.

Parent and BU Poly Sci Professor Jonathan Krasno says the district should wait to see if enrollment improves post-pandemic.

“I just think that there’s this notion that, we want to act right now, at the bottom, at the trough of an enrollment dip and say well we need to get in front of something, get in front of what? If we’re at the trough of an enrollment dip, why don’t we wait a year or two and see where this comes out?”

Krasno also says the district is utilizing inaccurate population figures for the city.

Board of Education President Brian Whalen says that enrollment trends clearly highlight that student population has been dropping for several decades.

Whalen says that the district looked at data reaching as far back as the year 2000.

He says since then, the district has lost more than 800 students.

“Do nothing would mean you would have to do something with Roosevelt because of the concerns that we have over there long term. One of the things we are trying to focus on is making sure that we’re looking forward, and we want our education system in the City of Binghamton to have facilities that are 21st century facilities.”

The forums consist of presentations by district officials to attendees split into small groups.  After that, the public is invited to provide their feedback which is written down with very little response from school officials to their questions and concerns.

There are two remaining public forums. One is tomorrow at Carlisle Hills Apartments at 5:30 p.m. and the final forum will be held October 3rd at NoMa.

At its next monthly meeting in October, the board is expected to determine the next step in the study, and Whalen says that a decision could come as early as November.

Even if a decision is made then, Whalen says that it will take a minimum of 2 years to implement the changes.