Task forces to be implemented in Pine-Richland

Task forces to be implemented in Pine-Richland

by Kristy Locklin
Staff Writer

Pine Creek Journal

January 24, 2007



As the populations of Pine and Richland townships continue to grow at about 5 percent each year, school district administrators are examining ways to deal with increased enrollment, which is expected to reach 5,120 in 2010.

Last Tuesday, the school board approved the formation of two task forces -- one to study the elementary attendance area for 2008-09, and another to investigate the need and timeline for a high school expansion project.

Superintendent James Man-ley said he hopes to get the groups up and running by late February and reach a conclusion on both issues by the end of the school year.

"We would come back with a recommendation after studying enrollment, capacity and utilization of space in the district," he said.

Pine-Richland High School, which was built in 1993 and expanded in 2002, holds 9th- through 12th-graders.

The capacity of the building, according to Manley, is between 1,500 and 1,600 pupils.

The task force will look into the possibility of building another wing specifically for 9th-graders (a suggestion made back in 2003).

As for enrollment in the district's three elementary schools -- Hance, Richland and Wexford -- Manley said attendance areas would have to be "tweaked" due to the opening of the upper elementary school in the fall of 2008, but he doesn't expect any significant changes.

School director Richard Herko informed the board that Westinghouse Electric Co., is wavering between expanding its current Monroeville headquarters or building a new facility in Cranberry Town-ship, which would bring thousands of jobs to the area.

The company is expected to make a decision in March.

"A third of those people could possibly live in the district," Herko said.