Marietta Board of Education votes to close 2 elementary schools

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Enrollment in Marietta City Schools has been steadily dropping, and the district will spend more money than it makes.

Over the past few weeks, the board of education and Superintendent Will Hampton have laid out options for how the district can decrease their spending.

Monday night, the board decided to close Putnam and Harmar elementary schools in the 2021 school year.

Officials said the move will fill unused classrooms at the other schools, cut costs and give the district an opportunity to sell the two closed properties.

This change will mean a lot of changes for all students.

Marietta High School will include grades 7 to 12, and the middle school will house grades 3 through 6. Phillips and Washington elementary schools will divide students from kindergarten to 2nd grade.

The change will take some time to prepare for, so the start date has been set for the 2021-22 school year.

One board member motioned to start the process this fall, by sending 7th- and 8th-grade students to the high school and 6th graders to the elementary schools. This would have allowed time to prepare what is now the middle school for grades 3 through 6.

This motion was defeated by 3-2 vote.