Utica, NY (WIBX) - A local school will be closing early for Alexandra Gerace Kogut's funeral.

An announcement from Hugh R. Jones Elementary Principal Alayne Hartnett in Utica was just released to parents of students, notifying them that the school would be closing at 11:00am Thursday, October 4th, so that staff members can attend Kogut's funeral.  Box lunches will be provided to students purchasing lunch that day.

Utica City School District Superintendent Bruce Karam says the closure will allow more friends and family to pay their respects to the family.

Kogut's mom works at Jones Elementary. The entire school joins the family in mourning.

Karam says that parents have seemed grateful for the early dismissal so that everyone can show their support for Alex's family.

Karam says the whole community is grieving.

The New Hartford Senior Center will also be closed.  Director Eileen Spellman says seniors scheduled to pick up meals are asked to pick them up at 10:30am Thursday so that the area is clear before the funeral.  Spellman invites anyone with questions about the food pickup to call her at:  (315) 724.8966.

The closure is to accommodate area traffic, expected to be high as the senior center is close to Saint John the Evangelist Church where Kogut's funeral is being held.  St. John's is located at 66 Oxford Road in New Hartford.  Calling hours are Wednesday, October 3 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at Dimbleby, Friedel, Williams, and Edmunds Funeral Home located at 13 Oxford Road in New Hartford.  The funeral home has established an online guestbook for those wishing to express condolences to the family

Friends of Alex Kogut have also established a Facebook page in memory of the 18-year old SUNY Brockport student.