WILKES-BARRE, PA — The final option proposed for Wilkes-Barre Area School District’s aging three high school system: Build a new school for grades 9-12 where Coughlin now stands, add grades seven and eight to Kistler elementary, and end the use of the venerable Meyers and Coughlin schools. GAR would remain for grades seven through 12.
Board Vice President Joe Caffrey, who also chaired the committee that reviewed the options, announced the proposal to standing-room only crowd in the district administration building’s small conference room, the front row of seats filled with architects, engineers, bankers and other professionals who have provided advice on the decision.
A feasibility study initially looked at five sites for new construction, the complete renovation of Coughlin and Meyers, or building new schools on those existing sites.
As he has increasingly done, Caffrey rejected characterizations that the decision process has been rushed. The board has been told by officials at the state department of education that it must submit initial paperwork for possible construction cost reimbursements by July 1, but Caffrey insisted it was his plan all along to bring a recommendation to the board around this time. The state deadline merely pushed the process ahead by a few weeks.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — The Wilkes-Barre Area School Board voted 8-1 Monday to submit plans to build a new high school by a July 1 deadline.
The deadline is when the state plans to impose a moratorium on the state PlanCon funding process for school construction projects. The board now has about a month to select a design option.
The district’s design team needs at least two weeks to finalize the submission to the state by July 1.
The design team of four engineering firms concluded a building feasibility study in December, and it includes a several options, such as building one consolidated high school for the entire district, keeping the current three-high school setup or building two new high schools and converting GAR High School into a middle school.
Someone went through our complex today slapping Rupert flyers in the hallways of the buildings. The hallways were just painted and the wet paint signs are still hanging up!
There are only six apartments in this complex out of one hundred and four with elementary school age children according to our Leasing Manager. Most people who live here are senior citizens or do not have children. That was a complete waste of time and paper. So thanks for junking up our hallways with your flyers!
As for the proposed sale of Franklin School to a group who will open a private high school for problem teens, we all saw the article in The Fishwrap so photocopying it on a flyer and littering up the North End was a waste of time and paper. I DO NOT see that concept getting approved. Scare tactics!
If you want to get behind the real problem in Pottstown you should be focused on drugs and crime related to drugs. That is doing more damage to Pottstown than any elementary school closing will ever do!
UPDATE! Many thanks to SavePottstown!! for investing this matter and reporting it to the authorities!
Additional Update – Today’s Fishwrap includes coverage of the Pottstown School District Finance Committee meeting that was held on Thursday evening. Evan reports that the board showed little interest in selling the Annex to Delaware Valley High School to educate “troubled” Reading teenagers. Dr. Lindley revealed that he did not give a tour of Franklin School to the DVHS group. Dr. Lindley told the DVHS group that Pottstown does not have the need for this type of program for our own students. So as you see, now that the facts are presented this whole hysterical campaign about Franklin School was just that…hysterical. It would be nice if we gave Dr. Lindley and the School Board some credit for having a brain before rushing to incorrect conclusions and whooping the community into a frenzied lather over something that was never going to happen!