Changes Ahead for Newburgh School 

School budget cuts are prompting changes for the elementary school in Newburgh. Next year, the transition could mean a move for their town office as well.The school now serves Newburgh students, grades K through 3. But starting next year, those students will transfer to the McGraw and Weatherbee schools in Hampden. It’s move that’s been talked about for a couple of years.”They’ve taken a class out every year for the last few years. It’s always been in the back of people’s minds, I believe, that it would happen. But the reality of it has shaken a lot of people,” says Nancy Hatch, Newburgh’s town manager.The driving force behind the change — the reality of state budget cuts, according to SAD 22 Superintendent Rick Lyons.”We currently are absorbing a loss of 282-thousand dollars this year,” he says. “Through this move, we’re not eliminating any program, we’re not looking to increase student-teacher ratios, so from that perspective, I can clearly substantiate the move.”The school will keep its program for four-year olds, and take in Head Start students from Waldo County.”I’d make the case that if we can save about 47-thousand dollars a year with this transfer, and not downsize personnel, not alter programs and also benefit the town, that’s a win-win all the way around,” Lyons says.Meanwhile, an idea is on the table to move Newburgh’s town office and services into the school.Hatch says it would come at a cost, but would give them needed space.”That will allow us to have a place where we can meet. We don’t have that anywhere else in town,” Hatch says. She says the move would also help keep their school the center of town.”It’s a big part of town,” she says, “I just feel really strongly that people need to keep that option open.”Plans are being made for a town meeting and vote on the idea in the coming weeks.