Posts Tagged ‘mccandless’

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
North Allegheny’s five-year plan to get vote

Residents of the North Allegheny School District will be able to see what the district has planned for the next five years.

The district’s proposed new comprehensive plan will be available for public inspection online. The school board heard an update of its new plan from administrators Sept. 18 and is scheduled to vote on the plan Nov. 20.

To read more, click here.

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North Allegheny to redistrict students for 2014-15 school year

The North Allegheny School District will redistrict elementary and middle students next spring for the 2014-15 school year.

The redistricting, the third in 20 years, will relieve overcrowding in Franklin Elementary and Ingomar Middle School, and will balance class sizes in the three elementary schools in McCandless.

To read more, click here.

New records, released by the district under the Right-to-Know Law, show that the three elementary schools with the most growth over the past year were:

–Peebles (+15 students)

–Hosack (+20 students)

–McKnight (+25 students)

The net growth at Hosack, Peebles, and McKnight was 60 students—which is higher than the 52 student net growth across all 7 elementary schools.

2013 third day enrollment

McCandless Crossing, located in the Town of McCandless, is a commercial and residential development of 130 acres on both the east and west sides of McKnight Road.  The development’s design includes a town center for residents of McCandless and of neighboring communities.   In the fourth phase,  now under construction, restaurants and more than 50 residential units are being added.   Click here to read more.

The McCandless Crossing development includes:

  • 50+ New Town Homes, click here to read more.
  • Doodlebugs Day Care, click here to read more.
  • Drive-through Panera Bread and other eateries, click here to read more.
  • Cinemark Theater, click here to read more.
  • Hilton Hotel, Restaurants, Retail Shops, and more, click here to read more.

McCandless Crossing

Additional articles about McCandless Crossing:

McCandless Crossing Update: Site Prep Begins for Final Phase
Cinemark theater earns approval at McCandless Crossing
Mixed-use neighborhoods finding a place in Western Pennsylvania
McCandless Crossing Update: Three Restaurants Signed, No Decision on Grocery Store

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Push continues to keep North Allegheny’s Peebles school open

Residents of North Allegheny School District’s largest municipality continued to plead with the school board April 17 to keep all elementary schools open and to reduce class sizes.

The board is scheduled to vote in May on a proposal to close Peebles Elementary School in McCandless because of excess capacity in the elementary buildings. If the closing is approved, district administrators have said they are willing to delay the move until 2014-15.

But McCandless parents say excess capacity exists only because class sizes have increased this year after some retiring teachers were not replaced.

To read more,  click here.
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North Allegheny board upgrades school technology, security

The North Allegheny School Board Wednesday approved wiring upgrades and security measures for its buildings.

Eight board members voted to finance $4 million in technology improvements through a low-interest loan from PNC Bank. Projects include replacing the network infrastructure equipment and upgraded data wiring for all seven elementary schools and installing wireless coverage in each district building.

To read more, click here.

There are two school board meetings this month:

1. February 20th Work Session

2. February 27th Regular Meeting

Both meetings are at 7pm at Carson Middle School.  These meetings are open to the public and provide time for community members to address members of the school board.  If you are interested in speaking, the rules require that you register 24 hours in advance by contacting Rose Mary Ryan at rryan@northallegheny.org or 412-369-5437.

With the plans for McCandless Crossing complete, and construction well underway, planners in McCandless are eyeing another large parcel of land for redevelopment.  Click here to read the article from the North Allegheny Patch.

Letter to the Editor, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 15, 2013

In September, North Allegheny School District parents attended school board meetings to express concern over a proposal to close Peebles Elementary. Board President Maureen Grosheider scolded residents, saying only a threat of school closure made parents pay attention.

The board was presented with 1,000-plus signatures asking for a task force to allow residents to help tackle the district‘s $10 million projected 2013-14 deficit prior to closing a school ($850,000 savings). Espe Elementary closed in 1999 — only after the district received input from a 36-member community group.

Parents delivered a 30-page analysis to the board outlining reasons against a school closure. Did Ms. Grosheider listen? During the presentation, she refused to open her copy of the report.

Now Grosheider and her hand-picked New York superintendent, Raymond Gualtieri, have a choice: Do they listen to the hundreds of parents attending meetings? Or does only their opinion matter?

In the face of community opposition, a comprehensive study and evidence of flawed data, Grosheider seems determined to close Peebles. Why? Maybe because her school in Bradford Woods is in need of renovation ($8 million to $14 million) and only a year ago was targeted for closure. It appears that a plan to save her own school by closing another is under way.

John Harrison II

McCandless

TribLive Logo

Group battles Peebles Elementary closing

By Rick Wills Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

With the North Allegheny School Board poised to take public comment on whether to close Peebles Elementary School, opponents are galvanizing to prevent it. A group of parents and taxpayers calling themselves “Save NA Schools” are flooding the district‘s website, sending emails to the media, residents and school board members, and turning up at board meetings to protest any attempt to close Peebles.

They say a consultant‘s report recommending the closure ignores the fact that Bradford Woods Elementary needs $14 million of repairs, while Peebles does not.

Many group members are opposed to closing any schools.

“At the end of the day, what the board says does just not add up. Their actions with the school closings make no sense,” said Daneen Leya of McCandless, a mother of students in the district and a member of Save NA Schools.

Raymond Gualtieri, North Allegheny‘s superintendent, recommended closing Peebles to save $850,000. The district faces a $10 million deficit for the 2013-14 school year, he warned in November.

Yet a consultant‘s report says it would be more economical to close Bradford Woods. School board president Maureen Grosheider questions estimates in the report of the cost to repair Bradford Woods. The study is one of two commissioned by district. The second recommends closing Peebles.

“After the first study, the numbers for renovations just seemed excessive. The question became, ‘Are those numbers really real?‘ ” Grosheider said.

The board will hold the public hearing on Peebles on Jan. 30. A time and location have not been set. A board vote could come within 90 days of the hearing.

Ralph Pagone, one of two board members who voted last month against having a hearing, said the district is rushing the process.

“We are moving too fast. There are conflicting studies. The board did not like the first study and got a study that told them what they wanted to hear. They do not seem to be paying much attention to the public,” Pagone said.

The initial report from Architectural Innovation of Ross recommended closing Bradford Woods and keeping Peebles open. The board‘s majority favors a study by Jon Thomas of Thomas & Williamson construction consulting firm, also of Ross, which recommends closing Peebles.

James Construction Co. sued Thomas & Williamson and the school district over renovation work at North Allegheny in the late 1990s. James won damages of $524,087 from the district in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

“The fact that the district had a recommendation from 12 experts to close a school with $14 million in repairs and commissioned a ‘second opinion‘ from Jon Thomas is very suspect. Especially when you consider Mr. Thomas recommended closing a school with no repair costs and Judge (Timothy P.) O‘Reilly concluded he acted in ‘bad faith‘ the last time he served as a consultant for North Allegheny. This all begs the question: What was the real motivation in hiring Mr. Thomas?” said Tara Fisher, a parent of a Peebles student.

Jon Thomas could not be reached on Wednesday.

Pagone questioned the decision as well. “I am concerned with the outcome of that lawsuit. The findings were not good.”

Grosheider said Thomas has a record of success with the district.

“Mr. Thomas has done work for the district for many years, in many capacities. We have always had good results.”

 

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/alleghenyneighborhoods/alleghenyneighborhoodsmore/3233983-74/board-district-peebles?printerfriendly=true#ixzz2HZI4Q2ZP

“…A divided North Allegheny school board voted Dec. 19 to hold a public hearing on a proposal to close Peebles Elementary School. Some board members said they are not comfortable enough yet with the data to actually vote to close the school in McCandless.

But holding the hearing keeps their options open, several members said…”

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: December 20, 2012

A divided North Allegheny School Board voted Wednesday to hold a public hearing on a proposal to close Peebles Elementary School in McCandless.  Scheduling the hearing does not mean that they will eventually vote to close the building, but allows them to keep their options open, board members said.

The hearing will be held Jan. 30. A vote to close the school cannot occur for 90 days after that.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-north/north-allegheny-to-hold-public-hearing-on-proposal-to-close-peebles-667120/#ixzz2FdpP8HAP

North Allegheny Patch, December 20, 2012

In a meeting that lasted nearly five hours, the North Allegheny School board Wednesday night voted to schedule a public hearing on Jan. 30 on whether or not to close Peebles Elementary school.

Board members Ralph J. Pagone and Christopher M. Jacobs voted against the hearing.

More than 40 parents spoke against the proposal, and many of them asked again for the formation of a community task force to further study the issue. The board did not address that request.

Read more: http://northallegheny.patch.com/articles/north-allegheny-school-board-approves-public-hearing-on-proposed-school-closing

At the school board meeting last night, information came forward that the consultant who recommended closing Peebles Elementary was responsible for renovating several of the district’s elementary schools in the late 90’s and his work resulted in a lawsuit that cost the district half a million dollars. Below are the facts and information surrounding this situation:

  • In December 2011, a Phase 2 Demographics and Feasibility Study was commissioned by the district.  It hired construction management firm, Thomas and Williamson, to do the work. The December 5, 2012 Tiger News stated, “The Board was not comfortable with the demographic information or cost estimates” in the Phase 1 report so the Board “commissioned a second report to be done by a consulting firm with whom they were familiar from past projects.”
  • On August 22, 2012, Mr. Jon Thomas issued his Phase 2 Demographics and Feasibility Study.  Estimated repairs at Bradford Woods were reduced from $14 million to $8 million.  There were no estimated repairs listed for Peebles. Mr. Thomas recommended closing Peebles and concluded the population in McCandless would decline.  Mr. Thomas and Mr. Briem were the only experts listed in the report.  BWE Project Budget Summary.
  • In September 2012, a parent noted two issues in the Phase 2 report: (1) that the 2010 data used for population projections does not tie to the 2010 U.S. Census and, (2) that there is a mathematical error in the demographic section of the report which, when corrected, establishes that the population in McCandless will remain stable and not decline. Mr. Thomas acknowledged the mathematical error and that such conclusion be corrected, but could not provide an explanation for why the report understates the 2010 McCandless population by using data that doesn’t tie to the 2010 U.S. Census.  [Phase 2 Population projections] [SPC Municipal Profile 2010]
SaveNASchools believes that the district should NOT be relying on ANY advice from a consultant whose work caused the district legal issues in the past. Reliance on Mr. Thomas’s demographic information, enrollment projections, and other assumptions is NOT in the best interest of the district.
SaveNASchools believes that the district does NOT have the ability to close ANY elementary school without compromising its successful elementary education model.  Our recent posts illustrate that the remaining buildings will see an increase in class size, an increase in sections, and the need to operate non-classrooms as classrooms (displacing programs integral to the elementary curriculum).