Highlands hires appraiser to determine value of Fawn school eyed for closure | TribLIVE.com
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Brian C. Rittmeyer

The Highlands School District is going to find out how much its former elementary school in Fawn is worth.

The school board has hired Integra Realty Resources to prepare an appraisal of the Highlands Support Center, formerly Fawn Primary Center. The district will pay the Pittsburgh firm $2,400 for its services.

In its proposal, Integra says it will provide an opinion on the property’s market value within 21 days.

The school board held a state-required public hearing on permanently closing the school in February. By law, it can’t vote on closing the building for three months following the hearing; the earliest such a vote can be taken will be in May.

As primary centers, Fawn and Fairmount, in Brackenridge, had housed students in kindergarten, first and second grades.

In the district’s reconfiguration that started this school year, all kindergarten students were sent to Fairmount, which was renamed the Highlands Early Childhood Center. All first and second grade students were sent to Highlands Elementary School, formerly Grandview Upper Elementary, which houses students up through fourth grade.

Fifth through eighth grade students attend the middle school. The high school houses grades nine through 12.

As the district’s support center, Fawn is being used to house the partial hospital program from the middle school, the alternative education program from the high school, support and intervention rooms and offices, and the district’s cyber charter school.

If the board votes to close the Fawn building, school board President Debbie Beale said it has not yet been decided what the district will do with the property.

Beale said officials also will consider if the district has any need for the site, and how much keeping it would cost.

The appraisal is being done so the district has that information before going forward, she said.

“We’re compiling everything at this point,” she said. “Part of that information is to see what it’s worth.”

District officials are currently discussing what to do with the partial hospital program, which serves students with mental health issues.

Highlands is the only district that runs its own partial program, Beale said. Most of the students in it are from outside of Highlands.

The district claims it has lost about $632,000 on the program over the last three school years, with almost $250,000 lost in the 2017-18 year.

The alternative education program would be moved back to the high school, Beale said.

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