Bedford Co. School Board Votes To Close Body Camp Elementary

Bedford Co., VA - The Bedford County School Board voted 4-3 Thursday to close Body Camp Elementary School. The chairman of the school board described it as one of the hardest decisions the board has ever made. On June 30th 2015, 163 students and 36 employees will be moved, and a Bedford County community staple will be no longer. "It's our heart of our community; it's all we have" said Annette Fox. Body Camp parents that came to hear good news Thursday wound up outraged with the outcome. Fox has two children that go to Body Camp, she went there, her husband went there, as well as both of their parents. "I hope they can sleep at night from this. They're going to be split up and they're going to be split up from their friends that they may have bonded with this year and last year" she said. Per a state efficiency study, board members were urged to close two elementary schools. Body Camp with dwindling enrollment, only 163 students K-5, and an aging infrastructure, much of the school dates back to its original 1951 frame, board members said was the clear cut choice. "It's very difficult for all of us to go through this process and we hear the people's concerns but just, our backs are against the wall" said Gary Hostutler, Chairman of the School Board. Another motion Thursday night was to close Moneta Elementary. It failed, and was met with thunderous applause. "I thought Moneta from a facilities standpoint was in better condition and so I think, I agree with the choice that if we had to close one that the Body Camp one had to close" said Hostutler. One year will be slated to figure out where to move 163 Body Camp students, as well as the school's staff. The next tough decision for the board is right around the corner. They are now slated with figuring out whether Thaxton or Bedford Primary will be the next to go.