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Renaming schools contemplated at Allegheny Valley School District

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, 12:09 p.m.
Springdale Junior-Senior High School on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. The school displays both its name and the logo for the Allegheny Valley School District.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Springdale Junior-Senior High School on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. The school displays both its name and the logo for the Allegheny Valley School District.
The letters 'AV,' for Allegheny Valley, are etched into the steps in a stairwell in the new D wing of Springdale Junior-Senior High School. With the district needing to rename Acmetonia Primary School in Harmar when it becomes a K-6 elementary school in 2018, school board member Stephen Puskar has  suggested now may be the time to consider applying the district's name to its schools.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
The letters 'AV,' for Allegheny Valley, are etched into the steps in a stairwell in the new D wing of Springdale Junior-Senior High School. With the district needing to rename Acmetonia Primary School in Harmar when it becomes a K-6 elementary school in 2018, school board member Stephen Puskar has suggested now may be the time to consider applying the district's name to its schools.

Colfax Upper Elementary School might not be the only thing going away as a result of the Allegheny Valley School District's building project.

Springdale Junior-Senior High School could be gone, too.

Not the building, just the name.

The school board may consider renaming the high school, along with Acmetonia Primary School in Harmar. Acmetonia is being renovated and enlarged to house students from Colfax.

With a new name pending for Acmetonia after the project in question, school Director Stephen Puskar said now may be the time to fully unify the district with a complete renaming.

“Has the time come to talk about ‘Allegheny Valley Elementary' and ‘Allegheny Valley High School?' ” Puskar asked at a school board meeting this week.

Puskar acknowledged it's a sensitive subject but said it's something the board should consider.

He noted that the addition to the high school is adorned with “AV” logos instead of the stylized Springdale logo of an “S” with a lightning bolt in it.

Workers are more than 100 days into construction at Acmetonia. It is forecast to be substantially complete on Aug. 10, said project manager Dave Parker, with Massaro Construction.

In addition to renovations to the existing building, an addition will contain classrooms for the fourth- through sixth-grade students the district will move there from Colfax.

While the Colfax students will be largely housed separately from the kindergarten through third-grade students already there, Superintendent Pat Graczyk said the district's intent is to have a single K-6 program at the school, rather than having a school within a school.

Administrators are working on the details of that merging, he said. That includes staffing, and figuring how to combine the schools' after-school programs.

As for what to call Acmetonia after the project is done, Graczyk said there once was an Acmetonia Elementary School that was K-6.

He said renaming the school, to some degree, will be necessary because “primary center” will no longer properly reflect it.

What to call the school, and how far to go with a renaming, “would be a decision the school board would make down the road,” Graczyk said.

The district has not decided whether it will keep, demolish or sell Colfax, nor has it started the formal process required to close the school.

In response to a question from board member Donald Rocco, Graczyk said the district could begin gathering information on what the building and its property are worth.

Puskar asked about the district's ability to place restrictions on the property's use if it is sold. He said he would not want to see a charter school move in.

An event to say goodbye to Colfax is being planned, Graczyk said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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