Farmington school board votes to close Harrison, Dunckel schools

It looks like farewell to some Farmington schools.

Sacrificing a few to save the many. The Farmington school board voted to close Harrison High School and Dunckel Middle School as the district continues to lose students and revenue.

"After all the research ... we cannot practically support three high schools," said Terri Weems, Farmington Public Schools.

The youngest of the city's three high schools, Harrison, may be the most renowned, home to one of the most storied football programs in the country.

"Look at all we've achieved here," student Vincent Rawls said. "We even had a player in the Super Bowl. Why are you closing us."

"You can go just about anywhere and people have heard of Harrison football," Football Coach John Herrington said. "There will be a lot more lost than just football. Our diversity - we have the most diversity, 16 languages at our school. Many good programs."

The district lost nearly 1,000 students over the past four years which translates to roughly $10 million in revenue a year.

Even Harrison freshman Mike Bachleda knew the writing was on the wall.

"It's a tough situation," Bachleda said. "They can't afford it anymore."

The board opted for a hard close for Harrison, effective the 2019-2020 school year.

Football Coach John Herrington is hoping it is enough time to complete a hail Mary on fourth and long.

"Who knows maybe we'll have an increase in enrollment and we can keep going," he said.

One message emerging from Tuesday's meeting is that if the district wants to run like a business it needs to be promoted and marketed like one in order to attract students.