Published On: Wed, Nov 13th, 2013

HPS, Newcastle begin working on consolidation plan

HARTINGTON — A possible consolidation between the Hartington and Newcastle school disricts could happen next year.

Several school board members from Newcastle and Hartington met as a committee for the first time Oct. 30 to begin talking about the specifics of a consolidation plan.

Though the plans are still very preliminary, Joey Lefdal, superintendent and principal at Newcastle Public Schools, said he feels the committees already took some positive steps forward.

“I thought it went great,” he said. “I feel very good about the direction we are heading.”

Newcastle, like many other districts around the state, has struggled with declining enrollment numbers. This was one of the main reasons the school began looking at the possibility of consolidating with another district, Lefdal said.

The committee is made up of three School Board members from their respective schools.

The committee met in Newcastle to begin talking about a consolidation plan. Before the meeting started, the Newcastle representatives gave the Hartington committee a tour of their facilities.

The Hartington committee wanted to determine whether the facilities could continue to function and meet the needs of the students and faculty after a merger.

“All in all, it looked like it was in excellent shape and well maintained,” said Hartington Supt. Randy Anderson, adding the building was more than adequate for the school’s needs.

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