Moon Area board reconfigures elementary buildings, votes again to close school and explore merging with Cornell
The Moon Area School Board on Monday night repeated its action to close Hyde Elementary School and explore the possibility of a merger.
“I encourage you to fight on, fight on, fight on,” school board member Michael Hauser said to upset parents.
During a contentious meeting at which parents yelled out their displeasure, the board voted 7-2 to approve an elementary grade reconfiguration that will put students in kindergarten through second grade at only Brooks and Bon Meade and those in third and fourth grade at McCormick and Allard after school renovation projects are finished.
“Enjoy your seats up there, because you're getting voted out next election,” yelled Moon parent Melissa Biggerstaff.
The school board voted 8-1, with Hauser in the minority, to rescind a June 25 vote to close Hyde, renovate Brooks and Allard schools, and authorize Superintendent Curt Baker to explore the possibility of Moon Area merging with Cornell School District.
The board had approved those issues in one vote.
Baker said that it would take years to explore the matters related to merging districts, and the elementary building closing and renovations would have been completed.
So the items were voted on separately: the board voted 7-2, with Jerry Testa and Hauser against, to close Hyde and renovate Allard and Brooks by the 2015-16 school year, and 6-3, with Testa, President A. Michael Olszewski and Vice President Denny Harbaugh Jr. voting no, to authorize Baker to explore the district merger.
There is excess elementary classroom space because the transfer of fifth-graders to the middle school in 2012 left nearly two dozen empty classrooms, the district has said.
The needed school renovations have been discussed for years, board Secretary Gia Tatone said.
For months, some opponents have petitioned the board to maintain the five-school, kindergarten-to- fourth-grade elementary model to avoid what they say would result in longer bus rides for children, siblings going to different elementary schools, increased property taxes and reduced property values.
On Monday, attorney Jack Cambest said he had suspended a plan to seek an injunction in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court on behalf of Hauser and Testa and five Hyde parents who claimed the public had not been given an opportunity to comment on the motions before the vote in June.
At the June meeting, the board was expected to decide on a plan, which was on the meeting agenda, to close Brooks and spend $25 million to renovate Allard and expand Hyde, based on administrators' recommendation in March.
Cambest's group claimed the board violated the Sunshine Act because the closing of Hyde and Cornell merger were not on the meeting agenda.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- PennDOT team decides what spells trouble on vehicle license plates
- Bookings for August Wilson Center climb, but permanent board yet to be set
- Fatal crash under investigation in Baden
- ‘Crutch’ documentary shares story of Pittsburgh man who turned disability into career
- La Scuola d’Italia Galileo Galilei stokes interest in Pittsburgh’s Italian heritage
- Allegheny County Council aims to dig out of hole
- Count of Three Rivers Regatta visitors could top 500K despite race ban
- Court attire can have impact, public defenders say
- Carnegie man sought after hammer attack, police say
- Man, child hit by car late Saturday in South Side
- Tiny black weevils booming in W.Pa.