WILTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two small communities in the Adirondack Park are looking into a merger between their school districts. A set of meetings, all open to the public, have been set to tell the residents of Minerva and Johnsburg what the future could look like for their children.

The merger would see Minerva Central School District merge into Johnsburg’s own Central School District. Minerva is an Essex County town with a population of 809, compared to Johnsburg, in Warren County, which sits at 2,143 (both as of the 2020 census). Johnsburg Central School District already incorporates children from the hamlet of North Creek. Minerva and Johnsburg share a border along the Hudson River.

To that end, Johnsburg and Minerva’s school boards of education have hired Capital Area School Development Association (CASDA) to weigh the scales and study what a merger between the schools would look like. CASDA has performed studies on grade arrangements at Greater Johnstown School District; sustainability at the Catholic High School at Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany; and a long-explored merger concept at Fort Edward Union Free School District.

Between October and early 2024, that study will be the subject of four public meetings – two in each town. Dates and locations include:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 18
    • 6:30 p.m. at Johnsburg Central School District
  • Wednesday, Nov. 1
    • 6:30 p.m. at Minerva Central School District
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29
    • 6:30 p.m. at Johnsburg Central School District
  • TBA January 2024 date
    • 6:30 p.m. at Minerva Central School District

“We want to maintain transparency and involve the public throughout this process,” said Johnsburg Superintendent Michael Markwica. “All residents are encouraged to attend the meetings.”

CASDA delivered an initial presentation to both schools’ boards of education in August. As outlined there, the study to come will examine how course offerings, athletics, resources, and communities would be affected by the schools combining forces.

Minerva School District held an FAQ session to answer questions its own community had regarding the merger. Many outcomes depend on what the study shows as the best way to move forward, but a few things would be straightforward. Minerva would be merging with Johnsburg, with the possibility of Minerva’s school building remaining open.

“I think the feasibility study will help inform our boards on how to plan for the future,” said Minerva Superintendent Candice Husson.

An eventual draft report is expected to be presented to both schools in February 2024.