State College Area School District has again raised the specter of “repurposing” Lemont Elementary School. SCASD has scheduled meetings to provide input about the district’s elementary schools. I urge all residents to read the information online, attend one of the sessions, and decide if these proposals make sense.
Meeting schedule, 7 p.m.: Wednesday at Corl Street Elementary; May 31 at Radio Park Elementary; June 1 at Houserville Elementary; June 16 at Mount Nittany Middle School. See master plan update process at www.scasd.org.
Some information to consider:
▪ The number of elementary students is going down in the district due to competition with charter schools, online schools and smaller families.
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▪ Are smaller elementary schools more appropriate for quality education than one double the size of either? If the SCASD planning guide calls for schools to be 300-400 students, why would a building of more than 500 students in Houserville be recommended?
▪ Is renovation economical relative to building a new facility at a cost of $19 million in Houserville?
▪ Is timely maintenance to the present buildings of value in increasing their useful life?
▪ Is the playground on the nearly 7-acre Lemont School site large enough for some 300 students, or is it just “preferable” to have a 10-acre site?
▪ Wouldn’t it be sensible to make Lemont and Houserville Schools K-5 so most students could walk, eliminating multiple buses, and allowing teachers to really get to know the children and their families?
Susan Smith, Lemont