If the North Allegheny School Board votes in May to close Peebles Elementary School, the move will not take effect until the 2014-15 school year.
Superintendent Raymond Gualtieri told board members Wednesday that he is now recommending a year-long transition that will involve community focus groups.
The focus groups will begin this fall if the board votes to close the school.
The board held a public hearing Jan. 30 on the administration's proposal to close Peebles, which is in McCandless, because of excess elementary capacity. Under state law, the board cannot vote on the closure for 90 days after the hearing.
Even if Peebles does not close, Mr. Gualtieri said some redistricting will occur in 2014-15 to address enrollment problems at Franklin Elementary and the middle schools.
Mr. Gualtieri also recommended that a shell wing at McKnight Elementary be finished to provide an additional five classrooms at that building, already the largest elementary school. Residents have expressed concerns that the district does not have enough spare classrooms to handle growth if Peebles is closed.
"It is shocking to hear the district is considering taking on new construction at the same time it's considering closing a top-performing, well-maintained building in the heart of the district," said Tara Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Save NA Schools group.
Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: email@example.com First Published March 20, 2013 11:45 PM