South-Western City Schools administrators gave what Board of Education president Cathy Johnson termed "depressing" reports during a meeting Monday on their plans to make $8-million in budget cuts if the May 5 levy fai

South-Western City Schools administrators gave what Board of Education president Cathy Johnson termed "depressing" reports during a meeting Monday on their plans to make $8-million in budget cuts if the May 5 levy fails.

Superintendent Bill Wise said cutting $8-million in services will create major changes in the district.

"We know that things can't look the same if these reductions are enacted," he said. "At the end of the day, there will be lost opportunities in many areas."

School board members approved two levels of cuts for the 2009-10 school year in February; $1.6-million will be cut even if the levy passes and $8-million if it fails.

Voters will decide on the district's 8.3-mill, four-year operating levy on May 5.

Wise and other top-level district administrators have held meetings the past month to plan for the possible changes.

With a levy failure, Harrisburg Elementary School will close and the students will have to move to nearby elementary schools in the district.

Janice Collette, district director of pupil personnel, said the 170 Harrisburg students might move to Darbydale Elementary School. Darbydale would lack four classrooms to house all the Harrisburg students, however.

Collette said elementary school boundaries might have to be redrawn to send some Harrisburg students to Alton Hall or Buckeye Woods elementary schools.

"There are really no easy answers here," she added.

Kingston School also would close if the levy is not approved.

Lois Rapp, assistant superintendent for instruction, said the nearly 70 special needs students at the school would have to move to schools throughout the district.

By law the district must provide services for the students; the law does not stipulate, however, that those students must be provided services in a single building, Rapp said.

Also with a levy failure, summer school rates for high school students would jump from $25 a class to $175.

Joyce Malainy, executive director of secondary education, said class sizes would have to increase and summer school terms for middle school students could be shortened.

Levy failure also would terminate all extracurricular activities, which could affect projected enrollment, creating a possibility for further staffing cuts, said Gary Smetzer, assistant superintendent of personnel.

Also, school district facilities would close 45 to 60 minutes after the school day.

Recreation centers could close completely, said Deputy Superintendent Phil Warner.

He said schools would close around 5 p.m. rather than 10 p.m. to avoid utility usage costs.

Warner said no decisions have been made. Plans will be enacted over the summer if the levy fails.

"Let's hope they can be shredded," board member Randy Reisling commented.