Town of Granville files injunction against Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District

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GRANVILLE, Mass. (The Westfield News) – In a court document obtained by The Westfield News, the town of Granville through its Board of Selectmen and Town Counsel KP LAW, has filed a preliminary injunction against the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District (STGRSD) citing breach of contract over the district’s decision to close the Granville Village School.

The injunction is regarding the Feb. 8 school committee vote that was in favor of closing the Granville Village School and will result in the dispersing of those Granville students to either attend either Woodland School or Powder Mill School for the upcoming 2017-18 school year.

The document states that in October 2011 an agreement was implemented that stated the district would consist of four schools, one of which being the Granville Village School.

That agreement reportedly contained language that indicated the STGRSD would lease the Granville school for 20 years and “shall pay all expenses of maintaining and operat[ing] the [Village School] and keeping it in good repair during the term [of the lease] and shall insure at its expense the premises.”

One of the concerns with parents of students of the Granville Village School was that the repairs promised to that school in the agreement have not been done and the school district is stating that funds are not available for those repairs which is a factor in the decision to close the school.

Additionally, part of the suit states that residents of Granville were encouraged to approve the creation of a regional school district and by doing so Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) funds of $600,000 would be designated to “make repairs to the Granville Village School, including but not limited to a new roof and windows.”

To date, the roof and windows have not been repaired.

The court documents also refer to a clause in the October 2011 agreement that states no school can be closed unless there is a majority vote of the district’s school committee and only if it is determined to be “extraordinary circumstances,” a claim the plaintiffs say has not been proven.

Granville Selectman Chairman David Ripley feels that the injunction wasn’t the option they wanted, but it’s one the town now has to take.

“It’s unfortunate this is the path that we had to go down,” said Ripley. “It really left the town of Granville no choice.”

Looking at all the complaints that the town of Granville has filed, Ripley just wants the town to get back what they believe is theirs.

“We’re looking to complete repairs that were promised to be done by the District in our minds,” said Ripley.

Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School Superintendent Jennifer Willard said that the school district is not making a comment directly towards the situation at this time, but did say, “Any decision we’ve ever made has been in the best interest of our school district,” said Willard.

Willard then went on to say that the school district will have more to comment after next Tuesday when the injunction goes before a judge at Hampden Superior Court.Copyright 2017 The Westfield News

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