Will closure crush east county towns economies?
As many know, a school closure is not an everyday event in a small town like East Carbon, but it often happens in the rest of the country. In many instances of school closures, demonstrations have been held to show how important the school is to residents. In a few cases, residents have gone to court to stop their local school from being closed, but there isn't much that can be done to keep a school open.
Small town communities can be brought together by a local school, and in East Carbon, the high school is a central part of the local community and the Vikings are a legacy to the former graduates and citizens of East Carbon.
Not only will the students feel the loss of their school, their families will be inconvenienced by it as well. The parents of teenagers that participate in sports or academic activities must now drive out of their way to see their sons and daughters when they participate in special events or sports.
Not everyone believes that the loss of a school can mean anything more than the inconvenience of transporting local students 20 to 30 miles everyday to another school. Some of the citizens of East Carbon say that they think that having their kids transported such a distance everyday could be dangerous. They believe that U.S. Highway 6 could be a hazardous road to transport students on everyday.
The inconvenience of the distance between Price and East Carbon is not the only reason residents of East Carbon are against the closure of their high school. Several residents believe that if their children have to travel to Price to attend school, there would be no reason to live in East Carbon, and no one would want to live there at all. It is too inconvenient to have to drive or ride a bus 30 miles back and forth to school everyday.
Residents are afraid that no one will ever move to East Carbon if there isn't a school for their children to attend and they think that they run the risk of losing current residents as well. They are also afraid that this might stop East Carbon from ever growing economically or maybe cause it to completely collapse if the school isn't there to hold it together.
Students and residents say another danger of the school closure will be the total loss of the identity of the East Carbon students. East Carbon inhabitants believe that their children will fall between the cracks at a larger school like Carbon High when they are used to attending a small personal school. They are stuck wondering how their children are supposed to succeed in school with Carbons' high student-to-teacher ratio, when they currently have a 12-1 ratio at East Carbon High.
Many Price residents do not believe this to be true. They say that the high school students coming from Helper do not have a problem with this and the East Carbon students will not either.
East Carbon Mayor Dale Andrews believes that if the school is closed, there is no turning back. If it closes for any amount of time, the building will need to be brought back up to code, including adding a sprinkler system, in order for it to ever be occupied by students again. At the last city counsel meeting, Mayor Andrews said that East Carbon wouldn't be able to afford to reopen the school due to that fact if they ever had the chance to.
Residents are unsure about what will really happen to East Carbon when the school closes. It is unknown how the students will be affected, but the chance that East Carbon will completely deteriorate due to the closure of its high school is unlikely.