Wissahickon forms facilities community input group
The newly formed Facilities Plan Community Input Group, created by the Wissahickon pchool Board to help decide the future of the district, will begin holding meetings, but will not discuss the possible closure of Mattison Avenue Elementary pchool, officials announced at the Aug. 20 school board meeting.
lver the past year and a half, the Wissahickon pchool Board has been preparing for the future by holding various enrollment and facilities studies with the Pennsylvania Economy League and Breslin and oidyard Fadero Architects and D’Huy Engineering, respectively, to get a status of what changes will need to take place in the coming years in order to move forward.
After considering the information from these studies, the board announced at the June 11 meeting its recommendation to build a new high school, convert the middle school pool into an auditorium and close Mattison Avenue after the 201213 school year. Additionally, other consolidations and facilities upgrades would be made at the elementary level. Along with this recommendation, the board established the CIG to hear stakeholder perspectives relative to the enrollment and facility feasibility studies and the future impact on the district as a whole.
Business Administrator Wade Coleman said the 25-person CIG will meet to discuss a range of topics in- cluding enrollment, capacity and building information, curricular programs, district finances and debt, building concepts and considerations such as green, sustainable energy and value engineering and will also discuss other issues deemed relevant.
The meetings will be held the fiRVW DNG WKLRG TKuRVGDy RI HDFK month at SW30 p.m. starting pept. S inside the board room at the district’s administrative building and will be open to the public and advertised.
The board will receive periodic updates regarding the discussions from the CIG.
The CIG will not discuss the possible closure of Mattison Avenue, Coleman said, because this topic will be dealt with separately through public hearings and direct discussion with the board.
puperintendent Judith Clark said the CIG group, whose members have already been selected, is a composite of various representatives from each school and community members. Parents and nonparents will also make up the CIG in order to provide the most balanced perspective of the community to the board.
“We’re going to use that committee as a barometer because again I know the board has always had concerns about gathering community input and this was a way that we felt we could do that,” Clark said. “And hopefully the people that are on that committee, because they all represent certain constituencies, will go back, talk to people, gather more information and be willing to share that with the committee.”
Agendas for each meeting will be made available online on the district’s website, and copies of minutes will be also be put online afterward, Coleman said.
In other business, the board approved the reappointment of Peter hress to the Wissahickon salley Library Board, but not without some controversy.
Board members oichard ptanton and peth Grant both voted no to the reappointment, with ptanton explaining his vote.
“I’ve got to be voting against this, not out of any issue with Mr. hress but out of an issue with the process. I know we’re reappointing him but I really know nothing about him. I’d like to know more before we vote on it,” ptanton said.