Looking to cut costs as student enrollment declines, the Atlanta school district has decided to close two elementary schools.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Atlanta school board voted 7-2 to approve Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's recommendations to close Whitefoord Elementary School and Adamsville Primary School after the 2016-17 school year end. The changes also call for converting Miles Intermediate School to a PreK-5 school.

The Atlanta district at one point had capacity for 100,000 students, but now has a student population of only 51,000. Whitefoord is at 48 percent capacity, and Adamsville is at 58 percent.

Before the board vote, many patrons urged it to reject the closures because of concerns about empty buildings in their neighborhoods, increased transportation costs, uprooted students and lost staff positions.

Earlier, Carstarphen had proposed merging Benteen and D.H. Stanton elementary schools, but reversed course at the board meeting Monday.

Video from WSB-TV: