KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An elementary school in Luzerne County is closed for good after serving the community for more than 100 years.

Our media partners at the Times Leader tell Eyewitness News the Wyoming Valley West School Board made the closure of Schuyler Avenue Elementary in Kingston official Wednesday night during a special meeting.

On Thursday Eyewitness News spoke with locals for their reactions.

“It’s an end of an era. It’s an end of an era,” stated Joe Orzechowski of Kingston.

Joe Orzechowski can see Schuyler Avenue Elementary School from the front porch of his Kingston home.
He’s lived here for five decades and has fond memories of sending his two daughters to the school where his wife worked as a special education aide.

“The reason we bought this property was because of the school and the proximity where my daughters could come home for lunch and my wife could walk them to school.” I mean, every kid that grew up on this block went there,” Orzechowski added.

But future generations won’t be able to make the same memories. After rumblings were heard about closing the 102-year-old school for a long time, the Wyoming Valley West school board made it official on Wednesday.

“And that’s a sad thing,” said Orzechowski.

Emotions are felt by many people in the community, including neighbor James Jensen. His grandchild went to the school and he lives right across the street.

“She loved it. I mean, the teachers were great. I would see the teachers when I come home and they would get in their car and say hi, how are you, and we would talk for 5-10 minutes,” said James Jensen of Kingston.

Jensen says he won’t miss the traffic but wants to know what the building will be used for next.

“They’re kind of hoping for maybe another school, not an apartment and not stores. But, you know, sometimes we don’t have control over that,” Jensen said.

The district says the bulk of the students from Schuyler Avenue will be going to Dana Street Elementary school.

Superintendent Dave Tosh said that enrollment will grow from about 400 to 590, with class sizes between 25 and 28 students.