SOUTHGATE, Mich. - This may be the last year students at Gerisch Middle School get to eat lunch in the cafeteria or throw a ball on the playground.
Gerisch is home to more than 700 students in 6th and 7th grade. But due to a $3.2 million budget deficit the district may be forced to close schools such as Gerisch.
Three Southgate schools will be closed by next year and the news is not music to any parent's ears.
"There is going to be more kids in the class is my major concern," said parent Dawn Johnson.
"I am devastated. This is a really good school district," said Rochelle Gilbert.
It's the harsh reality facing a district in the hole.
"I excepted this position there was roughly around a $1 million deficit when I started and then the 11/12 audit came out financials, and there were some mistakes made by our previous business manger," said Southgate Community Schools Superintendent Bill Grusecki.
Closing the doors on schools is the main way Southgate will be able to dig out of the hole.
"We want to do this right the first time and be done with it and have the foresight to put Southgate back on good financial ground," said Grusecki.
Gerisch, Chormann Elementary and North Pointe Elementary could all potentially be on the chopping block.
Grusecki says he is not taking the decision lightly.
"We know this is going to be a painful process. People are very passionate about their schools," he said.
"My son looks at them teachers as part of the family and to go to a whole different, whole other school is just sad. It's very, very sad," said Johnson.
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