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West Shore eyes adding intermediate schools, maintaining two high schools

Feeder school option slated to cost between $218M and $247M

The West Shore School District is poised to add new intermediate schools and maintain two high schools as part of a long-term overhaul of school facilities.

The district’s Feasibility & Facilities Committee unanimously agreed this week that it favors a “feeder school concept,” one of two options officials have been mulling as part of a school feasibility study that has lasted more than two years.

The district is looking to build new schools to replace aging facilities that can no longer be renovated to handle growing enrollment in some parts of the district, while consolidating schools in areas where the student population is shrinking.

A vote by the full school board is slated for May 11.

The feeder concept, expected to cost between $218.3 million and $246.7 million, would introduce intermediate schools for grades 5 and 6. The plan would leave elementary schools with kindergarten through 4th grade students and the middle school with grades 7 and 8.

Under that plan the district would vacate Lower Allen Elementary School and New Cumberland Middle School. Allen Middle School would be demolished, along with the Fairview, Fishing Creek, Newberry and Rossmoyne elementary schools.

In their place, the district would build new K-4 buildings at Fishing Creek, Newberry and Rossmoyne; a new Allen intermediate school, plus another intermediate school; and a new Fairview Middle School.

Other facilities would be renovated. New schools would start opening in the 2019-2020 school year.

“It is clear many families have deep personal connections to our schools and have chosen to live and raise their children in the West Shore School District community because of the experiences our district offers students,” Superintendent Todd Stoltz said. “We are confident the feeder school option and the increased opportunities for personalized learning will strengthen that source of pride.”

The district also has been considering a consolidation plan that would combine the two high schools into one facility at Red Land High School, and make Cedar Cliff High School a middle school. Elementary schools would remain K-5.

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