Demographic study approved
To get a better sense of future student enrollment in the district, the Abington School Board unanimously approved a demographic study, which will be conducted by the Pennsylvania Economy League, at the Nov. 13 board meeting.
The study will cost approxiPDtHOy $23,725 DnG wLOO JLvH 10- year projections for grade-to-grade HnroOOPHnt, DV wHOO DV fivH- yHDr projections from the seven elementary school attendance zones, said Abington School District Superintendent Amy Sichel.
,n 2003 tKH EoDrG DSSrovHG D VLPLlar study conducted by the Economy League that gave enrollment projections for each school year through 2012-2013, VKH VDLG.
“:H EHOLHvH wH nHHG to Nnow these numbers so we can plan appropriately for the future,” Sichel said.
The district has already received projections from its yearly census and from the Pennsylvania Department of Education with numbers to 2018.
This year district enrollment has HxFHHGHG 7,500 VtuGHntV, 6LFKHO said.
“:H KDvH 100 FKLOGrHn PorH tKDn anticipated,” she said.
PDE estimates the district will KDvH 1,000 PorH VtuGHntV Ey 2018, she said.
“TKHLr VtDrtLnJ nuPEHr LV 100 OHVV than what the district has projected, Vo tKDt’V 1,100 PorH VtuGHntV Ey 2018,” VKH VDLG.
Sichel said it’s best the district has another source of data to “know what the school district needs.”
Before the vote, board mem
ber Barry J. Stupine asked if the district gets close to 1,2MM more students and 6MM of those are divided between the junior and senior high schools, whether each school could accommodate 3MM more students.
“te know those buildings can hold around 2, MMM students each, but that gets very tight,” Sichel said. “If we need to build another classroom or wing on either the junior or senior high school, we need to get moving on that. First, we get the data and then decide what the options are.”
Stupine said he thought the board should move forward with the study.
Board member Susan Arnhold said she appreciates the 1M- year study, because it’s good for the district to know now possible building changes.
“As a parent, I f eel x t he study] is t he best way t o get t his i nformat i on, because we want t o do i t f or t he citizens, t he children and t he f ut ure of Abington,” said board member Daniel Kaye.
oesident John Monaghan spoke against t he study, prior t o t he vote.
Monaghan said t hreeyear projections are credible, f i ve- year proj ections are r eliable but anything f urther t han t hat, l i ke t he 1M- year projections proposed, are suspect.
He said t he board should t able t his i t em until more i nformat i on i s given about how t he study will affect t he Glenside- teldon School, which is l ocat- ed in t he 4MM block of North Easton ooad in Glenside.
At previous meetings, Monaghan asked t he board t o consider selli ng t he Glenside- teldon property, which he said i s not under constant use, to t he t ownship f or community purposes.
“The A2M, MMM a month to keep t he Glensideteldon property lit, which i s r oughly a quart er of a million doll ars a year, i s nothing t o sneeze at,” he said at t he meeting. “Many people are dismayed to see t hat t his expenditure of t axpayer money is going to l i ght an empty building.”
Board President oaymond McGarry said the 1M- year projections are reliable and believes that there will be a need for the Glenside- teldon property in the future.
“This board has no i ntentions of selling or disposing of t hat property,” he said. “te have decided to l ook at other potential uses of t he property. te have asked our architect to l ook at some designs and asked t hem to get us some i nformation on t aking down t hat building and putting a parking l ot t here.”
At t he Oct. 23 school board meeting, a r epr esentative of Hayes Large Architects LLP presented plans f or t he possible construction of a parking l ot f or a f uture school at t he Glensideteldon property.
The district is bei ng proactive and bei ng careful not t o t hrow money away, McGarry said.