Freshmen from the Hempfield area would transfer to the college during the construction project, under proposal
Ninth-graders in the Hempfield-area school district could move into a middle school building in the 2023-2024 school year as district officials prepare for a multimillion-dollar high school construction project .
The proposed plan, which would involve the restructuring of middle schools in the district, aims to limit the number of students in high school after council members voted in March to move forward with a plan to demolish the high school at its structural system and reconstruction.
Possible future plans, set out in a letter from Superintendent Tammy Wolicki, suggest that sixth, seventh and eighth year pupils will be consolidated at colleges in Wendover and West Hempfield. Ninth graders will move into Harrold Middle School until the high school project is complete.
According to Wolicki, declining enrollment allows Wendover and West Hempfield to house all of the district’s middle schoolers.
“Operating as two colleges maximizes resources and utilizes the two new buildings,” Wolicki said. “An added benefit is increased collaboration for teachers across the same content areas and grade levels, which promotes consistency and equity in teaching.”
Conversations surrounding the secondary school project have been ongoing since December 2020, when council members first moved forward with a feasibility study for the project.
The study, by Core Architects of Bellevue and SitelogIQ of Oakmont, presented council members with three options for the high school: renovate, revitalize or rebuild. Council members ultimately went ahead with the revitalization, which will cost between $97.4 million and $109.9 million.
The study also looked at other improvements needed in the district, which will cost approximately $12 million.
District officials plan to discuss the college’s possible plan further at Monday’s board meeting. Public meetings will be scheduled over the next few months.
Any future plans would require a school board vote, which could take place as early as August. These plans would come into effect in August 2023.
“The 2022-2023 school year will operate with three middle and ninth graders attending high school as the design phase of the high school revitalization project is completed,” Wolicki said. “We recognize the challenges such changes can bring to students, staff and the community. Your contribution is important.