The fate of Palma Sola Elementary still unsure

Parents and residents packed the cafeteria of Palma Sola Elementary School for a town hall...
Parents and residents packed the cafeteria of Palma Sola Elementary School for a town hall meeting hosted by Manatee School District. Superintendent Cynthia Saunders spoke a the meeting held in an effort to dispel rumors concerning the closure of the school. Unfortunately, some attendees said they left with a lot more questions than answers.(Noel Chavez)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:51 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Parents and residents packed the cafeteria of Palma Sola Elementary School for a town hall meeting hosted by Manatee School District Superintendent Cynthia Saunders. This meeting was held in an effort to dispel rumors concerning the closure of the school. Unfortunately, it left people with a lot more questions than answers.

According to Saunders, the district sought the advice of the Department of Education as to whether or not it would be more cost-effective to tear it down or renovate it. In December, the state responded with the advice to demolish it and rebuild.

Saunders believes this is why so many of Palma Sola Elementary’s staff members were under the impression that the school would be closing.

“I think that’s partly where some of the confusion was. That study came back before Christmas Break and we have not had a board meeting to discuss the next steps,” said Saunders.

The next step being a workshop for school board members to discuss the future of the school on February 17. The only thing Saunders could promise is the building would still be standing in August.

Many people attended the meeting to seek information about long-term plans for the school, but the future of the school reamains uncertain.

“I think it cleared some stuff up, but it still left the unknown,” said neighborhood resident Melissa Morrison. “I mean, all we’re hearing is the board is going to meet for the next steps. Also, this place will still be here in August. Well, what do you mean? What about December? What about the year after that? I understand if you have to tear it down, but are you going to rebuild it?”

With the Superintendent’s inability to answer those questions, residents like Morrison will have to wait until February to receive answers form the board.