Fayette County School District To Close 4 Elementary Schools

CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) – Some elementary schools in Fayette County are closing.

The Connellsville Area School Board has voted to close four of the district’s eight elementary schools. It’s a decision that is expected to save the district more than a million dollars.

At a meeting Wednesday night, officials laid out problems the district is facing – from how the children are being taught to the state of the school buildings.

“Our curriculum is fragmented. It’s in over 300 pieces,” said Superintendent Philip Martell. “Some of those buildings identified in the feasibility studies are going to need some work.”

With all that in mind, Martell presented a plan to essentially restructure the district, especially the eight elementary schools.

“I’m basically going to pick the teacher up and the class, and put it in another building,” said Martell.

The schools that will close are South Side Elementary, Clifford N. Pritts Elementary and Dunbar Borough Elementary. Connellsville Township Elementary will be reconfigured.

One of the schools scheduled to be shuttered is South Side Elementary in Connellsville. Officials say it has a lot of problems when it comes to structural integrity, among other issues.

“It’s a mess, it’s an absolute mess, and I don’t know if the roof would have made it one more year,” said Martell.

Some parents are unhappy with the situation. Kelly Gearhart’s children got to Clifford N. Pritts Elementary, one of the schools set to be closed.

“Well, they didn’t give us much of a plan as to what’s going to happen next, just besides they are closing out building,” said Gearhart. “C.N. Pritts is the best school ever and what happens to our teachers, what happens to just the community we have there.”

The district reconfiguration will happen starting the beginning of the next school year. But how that’s going to happen remains in flux.

“There’s just lots of unanswered questions,” Gearhart said.

The district is encouraging those who haven’t looked at the plan to check it out. Click this link to see the full presentation.

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