It is urgent that the State College Area School District leadership finally delivers on long-overdue promises to retain and renovate Corl Street Elementary School. Final decisions should not ignore the accomplishments and benefits of the school for the greater State College community.
More than a decade ago, the school district completed a master plan for elementary schools and established educational goals for each school. Dozens of parents attended public meetings to support updating the Corl Street school for nearly 290 students. The architects found ways for Corl to meet the goals. However, CS received lowest priority, behind the two high school projects and other school updates. Boundaries were shifted to accommodate larger enrollments.
Over the past decade, more families with young children have moved into our Holmes-Foster neighborhood. Parents have cited the walking distance of Corl Street school as a main attribute. Neighborhood schools promote stronger families, higher educational achievement, greener environmental impact and greater community bonds.
A renovated and expanded Corl Street school would attract more families and increase the student population. It is important for the architects, planners, administrators and the board to fully consider all options including additional floors. The State College borough is suffering continual declines in the percentage of homeowners versus renters, affecting the quality of life and tax base. Successful efforts to retain Penn State graduates, millennials and young families involve affordable housing, local schools and walkability. Future generations must have the opportunity to experience the outstanding Corl Street education.
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Vicki Fong, State College