WILKES-BARRE, LUZERE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – “We want a seat at the table and we want to be heard “
As far as Lois Grimm is concerned, there is still hope to stop the Wilkes- Barre School District from consolidating its high schools – Coughlin, Meyers and more recently G.A.R. School leaders are already working on a design for a new 100 million dollar building that will go on the old Pagnotti site in Plains.
Grimm has a son going to Meyers this year and she’d rather see that and GAR renovated and Coughlin get a new building.
“Research shows community schools are better for students overall, but especially for students in high poverty areas like Wilkes-Barre,” said Grimm.
Opponents of the plan say a high percentage of students at GAR and Meyers currently walk to school and that bussing them to Plains would be an additional expense to the district.
“Transportation costs alone would not constitute a savings for consolidation,” said Grimm
The district admits that their “transportation costs are expected to rise, but the building will save money in terms of cuts through attrition and energy efficiencies that will come along with having a new structure.”
Renovating each of the high schools would cost more than $200 million dollars according to a 2015 feasibility study. School board members say the public has a right to voice their concerns.
“Whether anything will happen, I can’t say,” said Melissa Patla, board member.
But Grimm and others plan to continue fighting.