It's only a matter of time before the doors close on one elementary school in Bedford County.
The Bedford County School Board will have the final say on whether it will close Thaxton Elementary or Bedford Primary.
An efficiency review by an outside agency recommended shutting down one or both of those schools to save money.
School board members toured both schools Thursday night to help determine which one should shut down. They walked through the halls and went into classrooms, cafeterias and even boiler rooms.
Bedford County School Board Chairman Gary Hostutler said it’s too early to say which way they are leaning toward, but they now feel like they have a better understanding of conditions in each school.
Jackson Keith may be 5-years-old, but he knows what makes him happy.
"I like playing in the playground over there,” he said.
Keith is starting his kindergarten year at Thaxton Elementary with some of his best friends. When word got out that the Bedford County School Board has to close one of the schools, his mother was not happy.
"It's a no-win situation,” said Jessica Keith. “Our community is going to be affected by it either way."
Jessica went to Thaxton herself and has fond memories of the school.
"The school as old as it is is in great condition,” she said. “We have a lot to offer as far as the gymnasium. The playgrounds been updated and the school itself is in good condition."
But Bedford County School Board members will be the judge of that.
They spent the Thursday looking at each school and asking questions about its history.
"It’s an economic reality of the situation,” said Hostutler. “We just can’t continue to maintain this number of buildings with the number of students we have."
Parents at Bedford Primary came out in support of their school as well on Thursday.
They are concerned about the students and faculty, but that's not the only thing on their mind.
"It's very nerve-racking,” said parent Susan Kirby. “Of course we are concerned as parents, but also I live in the neighborhood and I’m concerned as a homeowner."
Kirby said closing Bedford Primary will not only affect the young students, but the community as well.
"What’s that going to portray for the town of Bedford?” she asked. “It's a sign of economic hardship and failing economy and that's not going to bring new people in."
Hostutler said both schools are old and in need of some renovations.
He also acknowledged that some faculty will be out of a job after the decision. He said it is the school board’s goal to find new employment for them elsewhere in the school system.
A public hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday at Liberty High School.
A decision should be made at the September 11 school board meeting.
According to a Bedford County Schools spokesman, Bedford Primary has 281 students. Thaxton Elementary has 193 students.