North Allegheny hears more about possibility of closing an elementary school

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The North Allegheny School Board -- along with more than 80 residents in the audience -- heard an update Wednesday on demographics in the district -- and whether it is feasible to close an elementary school.

A consultant recommended in August that the district close Peebles Elementary School in McCandless, its oldest elementary school. Last year, another consultant recommended closing Bradford Woods Elementary, which needs major renovations.

"If we close an elementary school, change will be felt throughout the system," said Brian Miller, assistant superintendent for K-12 education. "There is no easy decision; there are just a series of difficult ones. If you remove a small school from our system, the entire system will be affected."

However, Mr. Miller said there are spare classrooms at each of the seven elementary schools and other rooms that could be converted to classrooms if necessary.

There are 3,530 elementary students in North Allegheny. The seven elementary schools have a target capacity of 4,500. If one of the small schools was removed, the available target capacity would be 3,960, Mr. Miller said.

Peebles is currently operating at 58 percent of capacity, according to the report.

More updates will be given at the Nov. 14 and Nov. 28 meetings. Also, the board directed administrators to work on redistricting scenarios for closing an elementary and keeping all seven open.

education - neigh_north

Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: First Published October 24, 2012 11:45 PM


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