Task force against merging Sayre, Lexington School

A task force studying a potential merger of Sayre School and The Lexington School will recommend that the boards of the two private schools drop the idea.

The joint task force sent out a letter Wednesday to faculty and staff announcing their position.

"Both schools feel that each represents an important niche in the Lexington community," the letter states. "Each school's constituents have expressed this same feeling passionately, consistently and thoughtfully over the past four weeks."

Officials at the schools were not immediately available for comment.

The Lexington School and Sayre, two of Lexington's most prestigious private institutions, announced last month that they had formed the committee to explore the possibility of merger. They said at the time that the group, made up of representatives from both schools, would meet through the summer and submit a report to the boards of the schools this fall.

According to the letter sent out Wednesday, however, the panel met only twice before deciding against a merger.

Charles Baldecchi, the head of The Lexington School, said in June that the task force would recommend merger only if it determined that a new joint school would be stronger than two separate schools.

There are significant differences between the two institutions. The Lexington School, founded in 1959, is located on the south side of town and serves students through eighth grade. Sayre, founded in 1854, is located near downtown, on North Limestone, and offers classes through 12th grade.

A merger would have meant significant changes for both, including adopting a new name for the combined school.

According to Wednesday's letter, The Lexington School has "decided to honor its founding vision and remain a pre-school through 8th grade education institution."

"Through this process both schools have learned a great deal about their mutual interests as independent educational institutions and have agreed to continue to work closely together for the benefit of our community," the letter said.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader