No plan to raise taxes, Montour School District official says
The Montour School District will not raise taxes to pay for an access road and planned elementary school, despite concerns to the contrary, a school district official said.
The $1.5 million secondary access road project, including lighting and sewer work, will stretch from Clever Road to the rear parking lot of the high school.
The road, which is under construction, will be paid for with school district savings, said Scott Suess, school board treasurer.
The planned school for kindergarten through fourth grades would cost $50 million to $55 million and be located on the high school campus, Suess said. The school will be paid for with savings that the school district will start accruing when a tax increment financing agreement with The Mall at Robinson ends in 2015. That will free up about $1.6 million a year, he said.
Through a TIF granted by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, portions of real estate tax payments on the mall are diverted from Robinson, the school district and Allegheny County to pay off a 2000 bond issue on the mall. When the bond issue is paid off, “the plan is for that money to go toward the debt service on the new school, and we won't have to raise taxes,” Suess said.
The secondary access road is scheduled to be paved in November, said Robert Capo, director of facilities and operations.
Robinson required the access road as part of the $47 million renovation of the high school, which was completed in 2010, and refused to grant an occupancy permit for the high school until the district agreed to a second road.
The school board has not officially approved construction of the elementary school, which is tentatively expected to be opened by fall 2015 or spring 2016. Public hearings on the plan will be held in November, he said.
The school would put all elementary school students on the same campus, and the district's other two elementary schools — Forest Grove and Burkett in Robinson — would be closed.
One reason for combining the schools is to increase academic performance by having all elementary school students follow the same curriculum, officials said.
Before 2012, the district had three elementary schools for kindergarten through fourth-grade students. But the district designated Forest Grove for kindergarten through second grade and Burkett for third- and fourth-graders, starting in the 2012-13 school year. Ingram, where state test scores lagged at least 20 percent below those of Burkett, was closed.
Consolidating schools has helped students, Suess said,
“Our test scores have been outstanding in our elementary schools. … It has definitely been the right decision,” he said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Penguins score 1st win in San Jose in 18 years
- Pirates showing interest in starting pitcher Masterson
- Stylish, inexpensive dress takes television newsrooms by storm
- Despite cross-check, Pens’ Crosby expects contact in front of net
- Yough girls working to improve after winless campaign last season
- Steelers notebook: Opportunity awaits Boykin
- Boras: Alvarez’s power is too valuable for Pirates to let him leave
- Overhaul mental health care
- Pitt’s surge goes for naught as No. 11 Purdue prevails at Pete
- Web-savvy terrorists have success luring U.S. recruits with social media
- Pittsburgh attorney cites Pa. AG’s suspension in dismissal attempt