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      Flint school board OK's more closures

      The Flint school board decided Wednesday night to close four school buildings and reconfigure three others.

      In a special board meeting, board members decided to close Bryant, Dort and Washington Elementary Schools, as well as the Zimmerman Center.

      Flint Northern will close as a high school and operate instead as the Northern Alternative Education Center. It will house 7th through 9th graders and students who previously attended Zimmerman. Northern students will be redistributed to Northwestern and Southwestern high schools.

      Brownell Elementary will house pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. The Holmes campus will reopen and house grades 1 through 6.

      "Now we're going to trail-blaze and show other urban school districts how they can get out of a deficit, create programs for students in the 21st century,?? Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins said.

      ??It's hard to stay I'm excited, but I am, because of the programming that's going to take place,?? Watkins said.

      Watkins said this is just the first phase of the master plan the board is working on. It??s unclear at this time how many teachers and staff could lose their jobs.

      Last year, the board closed four schools.