McKenzie School to stay open

Hundreds of McKenzie faithful are now breathing a sigh of relief. Especially little Jamie Leigh Roper who wants nothing more than to stay at McKenzie School.

"I was very very excited, and I love my school and I want to graduate there."

Butler County School Superintendent Darren Douthitt brought the long awaited announcement to a packed house--that closing McKenzie School is no longer part of the board's cost-cutting options.

"I didn't sleep last night...or the night before," says McKenzie Principal, Randy Williams.

For Williams, it's been a stressful few months waiting for the school board to make a decision.

He thanks the community leaders who donated money to keep the school open another year...all the while knowing the idea of closing it may come up again.

"We want the board to make a decision to leave us open, not consider it next year as it was said it might be a possibility."

Douthitt admits times are tough financially, but hopes McKenzie wouldn't end up in the cross hairs next year.

"I don't foresee that. If I did, I wouldn't have made the decision," says Douthitt.

For now, parents, students and administrators are just thankful they'll be walking through the doors of their beloved school when school starts this fall.

"There'll probably be some celebrations around McKenzie," says Williams.

"Happy to see each other and very excited that it's still open," adds Roper.

The school board is still discussing reducing support staff and central office positions. However, many of the money saving measures they were considering have been thrown out because board members don't believe they'll save as much money as originally thought.

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