Highland closure hearing Monday

MONICA PRYTS | Allied News fileGrove City Area School District is hosting a public hearing on Feb. 3 to review the proposed closure of Highland Primary Center.

GROVE CITY – A public hearing has been scheduled to review the proposed closure of Highland Primary Center in Grove City.

The hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the board room at the main office of Grove City Area School District, 511 Highland Ave.

School board members have already agreed to move Highland students in kindergarten and first grade to Hillview Elementary School starting with the 2020-21 school year.

The building addition at Hillview, which houses grades two through five, has been in use since the beginning of this school year, and renovations on the existing structure continue.

The hearing is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education when a district plans to formally eliminate the existence of a school, said Dr. Jeffrey Finch, superintendent of Grove City Area School District.

Andrew Evankovich, the district’s solicitor, will oversee the hearing.

“We don’t expect it to be a lengthy discussion,” Finch said.

Anyone wishing to speak during the hearing or submit written testimony for the hearing is asked to contact Kim Buchanan, board secretary and business manager, by noon Friday.

Her number at the school is 724-458-7993, extension 2113, and her email address is kim.buchanan@gcasdk12.org

After the hearing, written comments can be sent to Buchanan until noon Feb. 7; all input will be sent to PDE to be part of the official record.

Those who testify during the hearing will have five minutes to speak.

When a district prepares to eliminate a school from its rolls, residents often have concerns about student transportation and staffing, Finch said.

“None of that is happening in this,” he said.

Highland is close to Hillview – they’re roughly 1½ miles apart – and there won’t be any furloughs.

PDE has already approved the district’s proposal to demolish Highland, if board members decide to move forward with that option.

Grove City YMCA officials have expressed interest in the building; they are looking to expand early childhood education programming.

Finch isn’t sure yet how those talks will play out; the board is expected to discuss the matter in February.

The district also needs to look into approved uses for the building, and whether they’re allowed to sell it to the YMCA.

During the construction planning process, board members decided that it would be too costly to renovate Highland.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 for its committee meetings and work session; the monthly voting meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 10. Both meetings will be held in the district board room.

Recommended for you