Residents rally for Carylnton elementary schools
The message was clear.
Residents who gathered in the high school auditorium last week for a public meeting to discuss the future of Carylnton schools repeated the message they relayed during a previous meeting with a consultant and school officials: "Save our schools."
They said they did not want to upset the "urban fabric" of Carnegie and Crafton by closing any elementary schools, arguing that doing so would "destroy the neighborhood." More than one resident threatened to move.
Pete Szymanski, project manager for L. Robert Kimball & Associates, said the goal is to study various options and their ramifications, including on costs, class sizes and curriculum.
"I think it's very safe to say our study is not going to be based on any one aspect," he said.
Kimball's preliminary findings show mechanical, electrical, plumbing and emergency lighting systems at Crafton and Carnegie elementary schools are close to the end of their useful lives.
"They're basically at a point where all these items need to be replaced," Szymanski said.
Renovations were last performed at the two schools in 1979 and 1980, respectively.
John Hummel Jr., a market researcher for Kimball, said any options for closing a school would include suggestions to ensure it remains standing.
Residents at last week's meeting also said they wanted to see class sizes of 18 to 24 students, electronic classrooms, security at all entrances and separation of vehicular traffic on campuses.
The study, which will provide various options for the school district's future, is expected to be completed by May after rounds of interviews with administration, faculty and community members.
At the conclusion of the study, building and renovation options will be presented with cost analyses.
A third public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium.