The Bedford County School Board decided to close Body Camp Elementary School.

This after a weeks-long debate with the community about keeping the school open.

And instead of closing Moneta Elementary, it will get significant repairs.

The board voted 4-to-3 to close Body Camp Elementary School.

A state efficiency report said that smaller schools don't operate efficiently and should be absorbed by those that do.

But regardless, the board says this was not an easy decision.

"It wasn't something we wanted to do in terms of upsetting these communities," said Gary Hostutler.

Gary Hostutler and the rest of the board went back and forth Thursday trying to decide what's best for the school district and the county. They decided to close Body Camp Elementary School, upsetting parents, regardless of where their children go to school.

"I'm sad.  There's nothing I can do about it but it's heartbreaking," said one parent.

"My children go to Moneta so I know we'll all come together as a community but it's still upsetting," said Brandi Credille.

"I don't think they should close any school because both schools are good with the kids, both schools are good with the community.  Something's got to be done but it's all about money," said Jessie Hurt. 

90 million dollars to be exact, that's the amount of state funding decided upon in the county's reversion agreement.  The board says it was either make cuts or possibly lose that money.

Board member Jason Johnson motioned to delay the voting on closures but was outnumbered.  Still, he says having Body Camp opened for another year is better than an immediate closing.

"I understand that with the efficiency report, we had to close two schools."  "This is obviously a very disappointing decision that the board made tonight. But you're right, delaying the closing for a year I think will be good in the sense that it gives the communities the chance to come together," said said Jason Johnson.

"We thought that would be very disruptive for the school system and for those parents.  It gives us a little more time, time to do it right and I'm not just concerned about the students but for the 36 employees there,” said Hostutler.

Those employees could be absorbed by others schools. The state's efficiency report recommended the closing of two smaller schools stating higher operating costs and as the board prepares to close another one, the community worries about its legacy.

"You know, I went there, my husband went there, our parents went there and like Mr. Johnson said in there, it's our heart of the community," said Annette Foxx.

Bedford Primary and Thaxton Elementary school are the next two schools under review.

One of which is expected to close in the next year.


From WDBJ7's Nadia Singh:

The Bedford County School Board passed the motion to close Body Camp Elementary.

It passed 4-3, and the closure will be effective June 30, 2015.

The board voted 5-2 in favor of making repairs to Moneta Elementary School.  Members are toying with delaying the process again to conduct safety assessments.