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WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) – Public outcry outweighed public opposition when it came to closing a local school.
“My family moved to the Emerson area because of the Emerson school,” said a parent of a student.
It was a full house at a West Mifflin School Board public hearing.
“This school has made sure my son as succeeded when he was failing,” said another parent.
What brought out the overflow crowd? The West Mifflin School Board of Directors is considering closing the New Emerson Elementary School at the end of the current school year. Officials cite declining enrollment and say it would cost too much to renovate the nearly 70-year-old building.
“Obviously, the board understands and shares the difficulty of closing that school,” said Assistant School Superintendent Dr. Mark Hoover. “It’s something we have talked about and there’s been debate, and again, this is not coming easy.”
Not one person in the audience spoke in favor of shutting the school down. If the district decides to close New Emerson, it says it could save nearly $450,000 per year.
Speaker after speaker urged the board to reconsider the school closing and to look at other options.
“If enrollment is down at Emerson, I think you have to look at why, instead of just closing school,” said a parent offering another solution.