Schools

Rolling Hills Or Wrightstown Elementary Schools Could Close


File photo

It’s likely that the Council Rock School Board will decide to close one of the district’s elementary schools.

At the ad hoc Master Capital Planning Committee meeting Monday evening,┬áSuperintendent Dr. Robert Fraser presented options to reduce the district’s footprint while updating current schools. Under Fraser’s plan, the district could close either Rolling Hills Elementary School in Northampton or Wrightstown Elementary School in Wrightstown.

He also presented a plan to keep all the elementary schools open. However, that plan would require renovations to both schools down the line and not save the district any money.

The least likely plan presented by Fraser would involve closing Rolling Hills and Wrightstown. In their place, a new elementary school would be constructed on the Howes tract in Wrightstown, which has previously been used as a proposal site for new schools in the past.

If the school board moves forward with proposal to close one of the two schools, the closure would not happen immediately. Redistricting of the elementary level would take place in the 2019-2020 school year while redistricting of students in the upper grades is still on schedule for the 2018-2019 school year.

Fraser explained his plan and outlined that closing Rolling Hills would mean a 10-room addition onto Richboro Elementary School. It would also mean five classrooms would be added to Wrightstown. The district would save about $710,000 annually with the closing.

The proposal to close Wrightstown would mean a 10-room addition to Hillcrest. The closure would save about $625,000 per year.

 

 

The district administration has looked at feeder patterns, student distribution, costs and impact on the community before Fraser made his recommendations Monday evening.

 

The district will hold a series of three forums on the proposed plans starting early next month. All the meetings will start at 7 p.m. The forums will be held Monday, June 5 at Wrightstown; Tuesday, June 6 at Richboro; and Wednesday, June 7 at Rolling Hills.

A final Master Capital Planning Committee meeting will take place June 12.

A list of previous Master Capital Planning Committee presentations and videos are posted on CRSD.org.

 

A number of parents spoke during the meeting in favor of keeping Rolling Hills open. Some of those in attendance held signs with “RHE” printed on them.

Many parents pointed to the roles the schools play in their community and questioned any

“I believe it would be a disservice to the community close Rolling Hills or Wrightstown,” resident Eric Stevens said. “Both schools are cornerstones of their community.”


About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: tom@newtownpanow.com Phone: 215-431-1001