Unhappy Northland Community Council members reacted with bitter disappointment Tuesday, March 4, to the Columbus City Schools Board of Education decision to close Brookhaven High School.
Brookhaven is just one of the schools the school board voted to close in an effort to cut $50 million from the district budget. Monroe Middle School and Arlington Park and Marbury elementary schools also will close. Fifth Avenue International, currently housed at the former Everett Middle School in the Short North, will relocate a few blocks to Hubbard School.
The closings will account for $10 million of the $50 million needed, according to district officials.
NCC members, who also met March 4, were particularly upset that district officials had not discussed the proposed closings with residents prior to abruptly announcing two public meetings leading up to last week’s vote.
“I think it would have been appropriate for them to approach organizations of long standing, like the Northland Community Council,” Emmanuel Remy said. “I think we’re an organization that’s entitled to more respect than that.”
In a letter dated March 4 to school board President Gary L. Baker, Remy asked that the decision to close Brookhaven be reconsidered.
“Closed, dead buildings only negatively impact the quality of our neighborhoods and the value of our homes,” he wrote. “They do not assist in the efforts which organizations such as the NCC have fought for years to rebuild, areas such as the retail center at Karl and Morse roads.
“I ask that you reconsider the closing of Brookhaven High School, but if closing is the direction you choose to go, then call for a community task force to work toward immediately repurposing the school so the impact to the community and our children is minimal.”
For more on this story, see the March 13 edition of ThisWeek Northland News.