No decisions made on Wyoming Area buildings

By B. Garret Rogan - For Times Leader | July 28th, 2015 9:55 pm

HARDING — In the first meeting following a district-wide facility feasibility study, a crowd of around 60 district staff and residents gathered with the council in the Sarah J. Dymond Elementary School.

Despite the fact that several options for action listed in the feasibility study suggest the closure of the building, there were no questions from residents or staff members regarding pending decisions on its future.

Wyoming Area School Board President Dr. Eileen Campenni and Superintendent Janet Serino both stressed that the district has not yet identified what direction it will take in terms of following the study’s suggestions.

The feasibility study elaborated on five scenarios, four of which called for the closure of the Sarah J. Dymond facility. The cheapest option at roughly $9.6 million would only repair what is currently needed at district-owned properties and keep all buildings open. One of the other options would see both the Dymond and John F. Kennedy elementary schools closed.

Campenni acknowledged that the board is definitely leaning toward closing one of the district’s buildings but claimed no knowledge of what one that will ultimately be.

She pointed out that she wanted Tuesday’s meeting to be held at the Dymond school so that staff, district residents and members of the media can have “a feel for the building” before any decision is reached.

Serino added more details, noting that the Dymond Elementary School is scheduled to utilize only five of its fourteen classrooms for 101 students. She also stated that the amount of younger families in the vicinity of the rural school are diminishing; a trend that differs from other communities in the district.

In other matters, the board approved an agreement with Wilkes University to involve Wyoming Area High School in the Young Scholars Gateway Program, starting in the 2016-2017 school year.

Precise details on the program such as requirements and eligibility have not yet been set, but some district students will have the opportunity to take courses worth up to 30 college level credits at a rate of $80 per credit.

This will be in addition to advanced placement programs already offered by Wyoming Area which also hold the potential for college credits, although at no cost to the student.

The board will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Aug. 25.

By B. Garret Rogan

For Times Leader

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