By the Numbers: How Much Money Will be Saved From Closing Mary Drew?

Patch lays out the item-by-item estimates generated by Summit Hill school district officials.

At the tail end of Wednesday night's Summit Hill School District 161 board meeting, Dean Gerdes, the district's finance director, went over the amount D161 is estimated to save after closing , totaling it at $670,808.


The estimates were based on this year's budget, and this financial model will be used to build next year's budget, Gerdes said. But Gerdes didn't go over the line-item estimates, because the meeting was moving into its fifth hour, and limited his presentation to questions from the board members.

Patch was able to get a breakdown of the estimates the district has worked out so far.


Operations and Maintenance Maintenance services $37,569 Natural gas $20,375 Electric $97,556 Cleaning services $31,300 Water $3,348 Maintenance supplies $18,750 Equipment services $8,500 Personnel* Principal position** (including health insurance and TRS) $122,500 Secretary $52,580 Clerk $11,990 Nurse $35,260 Social worker $60,000 Librarian $23,430 Head custodian $46,750 Two full-time teachers*** $120,000 Part-time lunch supervisors $8,000 TOTAL $697,908


Operations and Maintenance Moving expenses $15,000 Transportation One bus to Frankfort Square $12,100 TOTAL $27,10

After Gerdes' short presentation, board member Sean William Doyle requested a side-by-side comparison that would look at the different cost-saving scenarios involved with closing another school besides Mary Drew. Gerdes said he and the district's staff should be able to draw that up for the board's second meeting in April.

READ: Check Out the Mary Drew Topic Page for Complete Coverage of the Closing

* Chart Note 1: The estimates listed in this category are connected to the elimination of positions throughout the district caused by the closing of Mary Drew. These do not necessarily indicated the people currently in these positions at Mary Drew will be let go. Staffing decisions have not been made yet.

** Chart Note 2: The elimination of this position does not mean that current Mary Drew Principal Kathy Klein is out of a job. . Hilda Walker Intermediate School Principal Jan Zevkovich announced her retirement at the end of the school year, which means the district has an open position.

*** Chart Note 3: These eliminated teaching positions are in addition to the nine positions already planned to be cut district-wide. , meaning they would be found other spots in other D161 schools.

Tracy March 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM
How was water, gas and electric included when the school houses the district office and wont be 'truly' a closed building? Is that a portion of cost deducted, or just what those costs were last year, and they are deducting that out right?
Tracy March 16, 2012 at 11:38 AM
And is this how those in Personnel are finding out they are being let go? There is a note regarding principal position, but is like the social worker being moved, or she's just gone? Salaries being transferred really aren't savings. Salaries being let go I assume would be savings. Not sure you will know thess answers Joe, because it wasn't gone over line by line the other night, but maybe you know, so I figured I'd ask.
Joe Vince (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 01:18 PM
@Tracy: Even though the buildings are connected, the utilities are separately metered. Think of it like a single store in a strip mall. No final decisions have been made on personnel. And these aren't salaries being transferred; these are positions being eliminated in the district. The question is whether the individual being let go would be from Mary Drew or another school. At this point, these cuts have to be looked at as the position being eliminated, not a person, if that makes sense. Final approval on personnel decisions will be made at the March 28 board meeting. Joe Vince Local Editor, Frankfort
Tracy March 16, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Thanks Joe! The back ground to the costs really helps, glad you had that detail. Glad to see the costs of utilities are broken per district and school building wise and nervous on how they will decide the who will stay and who will go moving forward, that really is going to affect all of the schools, so I dread seeing that process moving forward...
Heather Jay March 16, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Have they said what the estimated increases in classroom size will be at the other schools? How many Mary Drew students will be attending Frankfort Square next year?
Joe Vince (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 03:52 PM
@Heather QuasiEvil Brush: I believe the district has handed out classroom size estimates, but I don't have my notes on hand right now. I know that classroom maximums will not increase. The projected enrollment for Frankfort Square in 2012-13 is expected to be 240 students. That puts the school at 56 percent capacity. Without closing Mary Drew, the enrollment was estimated to be 164, so the district is projecting about 76 students. Joe Vince Local Editor, Frankfort
Heather Jay March 16, 2012 at 04:12 PM
@Joe- I am sorry if this has been answered elsewhere. There has been soo much talk, I cannot follow every article, but I try. So the plan is to add new classes, not make the current classes themselves bigger? One of the reasons I love Frankfort Square is its small class size, it really helps the kids get the one on one attention they need. When I went through the Summit Hill district myself the classes were HUGE and I always felt like a number. I fear my daughter, and other peoples children, will get lost in the shuffle in this transition.
Joe Vince (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 04:58 PM
@Heather Brush: I don't know what the exact plan is for classes. When I say classroom size maximums won't be raised, I'm talking about the maximum students the district will allow in each class at each grade level. For Grades 1-2, that's 25, and for Grades 3-4, that's 27. Classroom sizes will increase, but they will not go over the maximum caps. Does that make sense? Joe Vince Local Editor, Frankfort
Was There March 16, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Wow Joe How did you get a copy of the cost savings for closing Mary Drew?
Was There March 16, 2012 at 08:12 PM
@ Heather Brush... I specifically asked that question of how many students will be in each class and was told 25 students for 1st and 2nd and 27 for 3rd and 4th at Frankfort Square. That is why this is a community issue! I think a lot of parents assumed that since their kid wasn't going to be switched to a different school it didn't pertain to them. However this decision to close a school will affect ALL students by giving them larger class sizes. They will be letting go 11 teachers. I was also told that 61 students from Mary Drew will be going to Frankfort Square. I hope you didn't take this as a lecture that is not my intention I just wanted to bring attention to the situation that this is a community concern and not just one school. I also wanted to let you know that you can listen to the board meeting online on the district website. It is usually posted the day after the meeting. And of course you have the live blog that Joe posts too!
Joe Vince (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 11:33 PM
@Was There: I asked. Dean Gerdes would've gone over the items if it wasn't so late by the time it came up on the agenda. Joe Vince Local Editor, Frankfort


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