Gateway looking to sell middle school
The Gateway School Board plans to vote Tuesday night to seek Monroeville's approval to rezone the Gateway Middle School property, a prelude to its sale or lease.
The board wants to rezone the 26 acres at 4450 Old William Penn Highway from residential to commercial.
The Monroeville Council must approve the rezoning. The request will first be submitted to the municipality's Planning Commission, then council will hold a public hearing before voting.
Board member Steve O'Donnell told Monroeville council Thursday the board will put the property up for sale or lease.
“I believe it's fair to say that the school board intends to either sell or lease this property to a tax-paying entity,” O'Donnell said.
“The next step will be a motion to sell or lease the property,” O'Donnell said Monday, adding the plans have been a “function of the building and grounds committee,” a committee he chairs. “I'd be surprised if (the school board) didn't see this coming.
Superintendent Bill Short was not immediately available to comment.
Board member Chad Stubenbort said the rezoning does not mean the school will close or be sold or leased in the next year.
“We're just giving future boards better options if they decide to sell or lease it,” he said. “Any property zoned commercial is better.”
He said if Gateway Middle School's enrollment numbers continue to decline, “it's something future boards will look at.”
According to county real estate records, the property was assessed in 2017 under its current residential zone at $13.4 million.
Given its location – the intersection of Old William Penn and Haymaker roads and less than a half-mile from Route 22 and the Parkway East – the property could be ripe for redevelopment.