ShareThis Page
Franklin Regional school board moves ahead with plans for elementary campus at Sloan site |

Franklin Regional school board moves ahead with plans for elementary campus at Sloan site

Patrick Varine
| Monday, May 15, 2017 9:45 p.m

Franklin Regional school board members on Monday authorized their contracted architects to begin design work to convert Sloan Elementary into a lower elementary school and to build a new upper elementary school on the Sloan campus.

The board voted unanimously to both accept VEBH Architects’ feasibility and facilities study and to have VEBH move forward with design plans.

VEBH will be paid 6 percent of the total cost of the project, which will move forward in phases, with several alternatives for the board to choose from in each facet of the design process.

Several district residents questioned how the project would be funded and what its tax implications would be, particularly with the study’s recommendations for the middle school and high school yet to be addressed.

Linda Marts of Murrysville said it was “unconscionable for the district to think about spending $50 million when the state and federal governments are running at a deficit and considering cuts to education.”

Stan Cheyne of Delmont worried that the board may be fixing one problem and creating another.

“You can have the best schools, but you have to have the parents and students to support them,” Cheyne said, citing district tax hikes every year dating back to 2003. “They’re not going to move here if they see the high tax rates.”

Among the board’s goals for the project, President Larry Borland cited a desire by both the district and many parents for educational equity among elementary students; improving the parking congestion, general traffic flow and safety at the main campus on School Road; and improving laboratory, technical and performing arts spaces for students.

Resident Ross Eaton said he supports the board’s plan, and that the flexibility it will provide “can’t be overstated.”

“This provides for more efficient use of our shared resources,” he said.

Board member John Koury, who oversaw the feasibility study, said the renovation and new construction is being driven by “the current educational vision that we have for this school district.”

“We have a road map for what we want to do,” Koury said. “And it’s being implemented as best it can with our current facilities. The (new) building is going to match the vision, and not the reverse.”

That was little comfort to Marts.

“Those of use who have lived here a long time love it here,” she said. “And we don’t want to see our taxes increased. They just keep going up every year.”

Patrick Varine is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Patrick at 412-871-8627, or via Twitter .

Categories: Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.