BROCTON - Efforts to consolidate Westfield Academy and Central School and Brocton Central School moved forward Monday.
A committee of board of education members from both Brocton and Westfield and each district's superintendent met with David O'Rourke, district superintendent from Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES. The purpose of the meeting was to study the responses to a request for proposal (RFP) for an independent entity to study and report on the feasibility of a merger between the two districts. This study must be done before there is any attempt to consolidate the districts.
Brocton was represented by board members Michael Riforgiato, Susan Hardy and David Hazelton and its superintendent John Hertlein. Board of education president Jeff Greabell, board member Francine Brown, and Superintendent David Davison represented Westfield.
O'Rourke said that there were two responses to the RFP - one by Western New York Educational Service Council and the other by Costallo & Silky, Educational Consultants. O'Rourke explained that they could rebid the proposal, but the group decided to interview both bidders.
The group compared and discussed the proposals and also discussed what they would want from a consulting firm.
Hazelton and Hardy, who had worked on the previous merger attempt with Fredonia, in response to questions, shared their experiences.
After listening to comments and questions, O'Rourke summarized that clarification of the pricing details in each proposal, and the ability of the consultants to interact with the community were items to focus on in the interviews.
Hertlein and Davison had worked together to develop a set of key questions to use in the selection of a consulting firm. Copies of the two proposals will go to all board members of each district for study. Board members in each district may send additional concerns to their respective superintendents.
Before the meeting ended, the committee set a date for interviews of the bidders. It will be held on Aug. 2 beginning at 6 p.m. at Westfield Academy and Central School's library. The interviews will be conducted and attended by the full board of each district.
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