Board to hold hear­ings on pro­posed school clo­sure

The Ambler Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Eric Devlin

The Wis­sahickon School Board will be­gin to de­cide the fate of Mat­ti­son Av­enue El­e­men­tary School af­ter pub­lic hear­ings re­gard­ing the po­ten­tial clos­ing of the school, which were an­nounced will take place early next month at the board’s Sept. 10 meet­ing.

2fficLDOV VDLG WwR KHDULnJV wLOO take place Oct. 1 and Oct. 8 inside the Wis­sahickon High School au­di­to­rium at 6:30 p.m. each evening in or­der for the board to re­ceive in­put, com­ments and other in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the pos­si­ble clo­sure of Mat- ti­son Av­enue El­e­men­tary. The pub­lic is wel­come to come and en­cour­aged to pro­vide both writ­ten and pub­lic com­ments.

“TKH fiUVW KHDULnJ nLJKW wLOO Ln­clude a pre­sen­ta­tion by ad­min­is­tra­tion in re­gard to var­i­ous ra­tio­nale re-

A mo­tor­cy­cle driver lost his life Mon­day night in an ac­ci­dent with a car on DeKalb Pike (Route 202) in Lower Gwynedd.

Lower Gwynedd po­lice KDvH LGHnWL­fiHG WKH PRWRU­cy­clist killed in the ac­ci­dent as Charles Gale, 28, of Doylestown.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, Gale was driv­ing a 2012 BMW mo­tor­cy­cle north­bound on Route 202 when the ac­ci­dent took place just be­fore 8 p.m. on DeKalb just north of Ply­mouth Road.

As Gale was rid­ing north, ac­cord­ing to po­lice, his mo­tor­cy­cle col­lided with a 2005 Jeep Lib­erty driven by Le­land Vollman, 58, of Jenk­in­town, that was mak­ing a left turn out of the nearby Church of the Mes­siah drive­way, lo­cated just north of the in­ter­sec­tion of Ply­mouth and DeKalb, to head north.

The ac­ci­dent is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and no de­ter­mi­na­tion has yet been made as to how the col­li­sion took

lated to the ad­min­is­tra­tive rec­om­men­da­tion,” said board So­lic­i­tor Scott Wolpert. He said the dead­line to sub­mit a writ­ten com­ment would be Oct. 8, the date of the sec­ond hear­ing. Hand­i­cap ac­cess to ei­ther hear­ing would be avail­able should it be re­quired, he said.

Wolpert said no less than three months af­ter the hear­ing, there would be a school board meet­ing to de­lib­er­ate on the is­sue of pos­si­bly clos­ing the school, re­it­er­at­ing what he said in June. Ad­di­tion­ally, should a de­ci­sion to close the school be reached, 60 days notice would be given to af­fected em­ploy­ees, along with notice to state, Wolpert said, again re­it­er­at­ing com­ments made at the June 11 meet­ing.

The pos­si­ble clo­sure of Mat­ti­son Av­enue was on the minds of many in at­ten­dance at Mon­day’s meet­ing.

Many spoke dur­ing the pub­lic com­ment sec­tion to ex­press their dis­plea­sure with the board’s rec­om­men­da­tion. The com­mon theme from all who spoke was community.

Community mem­ber Charles Moore at­tempted to ex­plain the im­por­tance of Mat­ti­son Av­enue to Ambler Bor­ough. He said the community wasn’t ask­ing for the school board to do some­thing like build a brand new school, but rather to just keep the school they cur­rently have from clos­ing.

Moore and oth­ers exSOainHd WKH VoFiaO bHnHfiWV of walk­ing to school among students as well as par­ents, who might oth­er­wise never meet were they to be driv­ing to school.

fn other busi­ness, school board stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kitty Hen­nessy gave KHU fiUVW UHSoUW. DHVSiWH some gripes about the high price of park­ing, the ad­di­tional time spent at each class, the expected tech­ni­cal prob­lems with new stu- dent lap­tops and the long gap of time for stu­dent ath­letes be­tween break­fast and lunch, Hen­nessy said most students are ad­just­ing well to the new school year at Wis­sahickon High School.

Board mem­ber Bu­runda Prince-Jones said she ap­pre­ci­ated Hen­nessy’s re­marks and asked her to come back in a month in or­der for the board to see if there has been any change in what she is hear­ing from the stu­dent body. PrinceJones said all of those is­sues were “quite im­por­tant.”

Board Pres­i­dent voung Park asked for Hen­nessy to re­lay to students that the cost of park­ing a car inside the lot is con­sid­er­ably cheaper than many other area high school, such as Perkiomen Val­ley and Soud­er­ton Area high school,s and also said to re­mind students they can al­ways take the school bus if the price is that much of a prob­lem.

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