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Hearings set on plan to close Gorton

The public will be given the opportunity to respond to the proposal to close Gorton Junior High School, sending the students who would be displaced to Aldrich and Winman next fall, at public hearings May 2 and May 7. Both hearings will be held at Veterans Memorial High School. Times for the meetings will be announced by Friday according to the School Department.

A study committee headed by Dennis Mullen, director of secondary schools, recommended closing the school because of declining enrollment. A formal presentation has yet to be made to the School Committee that is expected to vote on the recommendation May 9.

At the hearings, representatives of the department are expected to make a presentation of the findings of the study committee and entertain comments from the audience. Closing the school is projected to save about $1.1 million in annual operational costs plus capital improvements to fully comply with fire code regulations.

Meanwhile, the School Committee is expected to vote on the department’s proposed budget calling for a $1.3 million increase in overall spending and a $3.8 million increase in city revenues. As proposed, the budget does not include savings from closing Gorton.

Mayor Scott Avedisian said he expects schools to ask for a “level-funded” budget.

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