Traverse City News and Events

Nearly $1M Offered To Save Old Mission Elementary

March 3, 2016

A group representing the Old Mission Peninsula school community met with Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) leaders Tuesday with an offer: a nearly $1 million donation from an Old Mission resident to keep Old Mission Elementary open.

TCAPS leaders briefly discussed the offer at the board's Finance Committee meeting Wednesday morning.

"I don't have a recommendation around this," says Superintendent Paul Soma. "I don't have all the information necessary to even make a recommendation or even to inform you of all the details."

Soma says the group has secured the money with the end goal of Old Mission staying operational under TCAPS.

Old Mission Elementary is one of three low-enrollment schools Soma has recommended closing to address a budget shortfall, along with the International School at Bertha Vos and Interlochen Community School. However, Old Mission is not recommended for closure for two more years, while the other schools are facing closure at the end of this school year.

While expressing appreciation for the offer, TCAPS leaders say they will be working hard to get the answers they need related to the offer in advance of Monday's meeting – and the vote on school closures.

"The impact to the district at this point is unknown," says board President Erik Falconer. "But we will continue to pursue it."

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