NEWS10 in the Classroom: The state of Durham Elementary School

DURHAM, N.Y.– Holes in the floor, cracked tiles and deteriorating conditions are what some parents in the Cairo-Durham School District alleged of the Durham Elementary School building.

It will house grades K-2 during the 2013-2014 school year under a new re-alignment plan.

“We have ordered molding for the corners and underneath this is an area where the tile had separated from the wall,” says Superintendent Mary Fassett, pointing out one of the areas in the school in need of repair. “I have to stay it did look ugly, because there was mastic, the glue to hold the tiles there. The pictures really did not look pretty. We were moving cabinets and stuff and that's when we discovered them, but they've all been repaired.”

Fassett says the Durham Elementary building has been threatened with closure for many years, which is one of the reasons needed repairs went untouched.

“Because the building was built in 1939 and built very well, very solidly, as the newer constructions were updated and worked on, with the threat of the constant closure hanging over their head, a lot of the capital improvement money was never invested back in the building,” says Fassett.

Under a new re-alignment plan beginning this school year, grades k-2 will be housed at Durham Elementary and grades 3-5 at Cairo Elementary.

Fassett says she understands the anxiety some parents and teachers with all of the change, but is asking for faith in the school district.

“In the past, we've had two K-5 school buildings that operated on two entirely different bell schedules, with two entirely different ideologies about how education should be delivered,” she says. “So there was really a very big discrepancy even in state report card scores with how the two buildings were doing.”

“I do think it's time to move on,” adds Janet Partridge, a parent in the district. “I think that we have to give credit to the school. They talk about leaky toilets and holes, but until you see something, you have to see it before you pass judgement hopefully.”

“It's a new beginning for them to give this community, both communities, some momentum for the future,” says parent Dean Pectal.

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