Lacy Arguments Heard:Neither Side Budges
Warren Times Observer 9-22-88
By TOM SCHULTZ Staff writer
For an hour and a half Wednesday evening, Warren County School District
officials explained to parents and residents from Warren's east side
why Lacy Elementary
School should be closed.
Parents and residents spent the same time trying to convince school officials
that Lacy should remain open.
Both sides stated their cases eloquently, but neither appeared to have
changed any minds.
The public hearing was the second in a series scheduled by the school
district on proposed school closings. Under a plan to promote better
the school board of directors is considering a recommendation to close
McClintock, Lacy; Irvinedale, Scandia, Home Street, North Warren
and, Sheffield elementary
schools * and Tidioute Junior/Senior High School, and ; Institute grade-level
realignments between Pittsfield and Youngsville elementary schools and
Sheffield and Allegheny Valley elementary schools.
A proposal to
shift fifth graders
in the Warren service area to Beaty Warren Middle School for the 1989-90
years has already been approved.
Prior to Wednesday's
hearing, Superintendent Dr. Ronald Snyder said the fifth-grade shift
must be followed by the closing of some
because, "It's not
feasible to keep schools like Lacy open" with just kindergarten
through fourth grade. Although public hearings are scheduled at six
schools in the Warren
service area, Snyder said there is "no number that have to be
make the building utilization plan work effectively.
He also said
a decision on which schools to close will be made as "a package" instead
of individually; that probably won't happen until the school directors'
Under the proposal to close Lacy, students in grades kindergarten
through fourth grade would be transferred to South Street Elementary
in the area bounded on the east by the Warren Borough limit and on the
by Marion St. would be bused
to South Street.
students said Hal Miller, the school district's Director of
transportation, would have
to walk. “The walk will do your youngsters well,” Miller
told |the parents.
third-day enrollment this year is 101 students and the school |is operating
40.4 percent of capacity, according to Principal
the school were to remain open, there would be just 90
students (36 percent of capacity) next year.
One of the
major concerns, the absence of an elementary school in the area if Lacy,
Scandia are closed,
was expressed repeatedly.
Terry Hallock, 1504 Pennsylvania Ave. east, president
of the Lacy PTO, would create "an empty space between South Street
and Allegheny Valley (schools)."
" We realize the decisions are going to be tough”, Hallock
told the school officials, asking that they "consider the wide area
“ Close Lacy or Irvinedale”, he concluded, “but
That sparked the suggestion of combining the two schools,
but Snyder said it is not feasible as long as the proposal to close
Irvinedale remains under consideration. The public hearing at Irvinedale
next Wednesday, Sept. 28,
at 7:30 p.m.
the approximately 65 persons attending the Lacy hearing that "space
is available at South and he called the proposal “economically
for the Irvinedale suggestion, he estimated
$300,000 would be needed over the next three
or four years "to bring Irvinedale up to standards."
Wednesday's hearing concluded, Barbara
Tubbs the school board's vice president; said the
administration will wait until all of the
hearings have been held and then present
a final recommendation. If Lacy or Irvinedale
is dropped from the list of schools targeted
for closing she said," a proposal to
combine the two could be addressed at that
deflated a rumor about moving the school
office to Lacy if the school is closed;
saying it "was not
of recent vintage. I would not want to
spend the money (necessary) to put the administrative
office here. Projected capital improvements
at Lacy include
a new roof, windows and-doors,: and retrofitting
the heating system at a cost of more than
the fate of the Lacy and Irvinedale
and ball fields if the schools are closed,
Snyder responded; My recommendation would
accessible. It's unfortunate the South
Street building isn't here."
Dr. Chester Singer; director of special
education for' the school district,
said several classes
are moved to South
students comprise 22 percent of South Street's enrollment, said Singer;
that figure "an unacceptably
high percentage... We need a more realistic balance."
to be relocated are two trainable mentally retarded (TMR)
and the severely and profoundly
(S/PMR) class. Since the classes
draw students from throughout the school district, Singer; said he would
try to relocate
the classes as close to the students'
homes as possible.
hearing adjourned, Bernard Hessley, school board: president
said "we have the
we don't have
the kids to put
in them. It doesn't
sense to run the same number
of schools with fewer students.
to do?" he asked. "If
we had to start over, we wouldn’t
have South Street, Irvinedale
(or several other schools).
We would build one school and
care of the entire eastern
end. But we can't do that now...
way past that now.”
you run a school this size
with this heating system
for 91 kids?" he
concluded. "What would
3 Schools Closed;Tidioute Survives
Warren Times Observer 2-28-1989
By JUDE DIPPOLD Night Editor
The Warren County School District, following the recommendations of its
administration, will close three of its Warren-area elementary
schools — McClintock,
Lacy and Irvinedale — at the end of this school year.
But the district's board of education balked at the administration's
recommendations for Tidioute Junior-Senior High School.
of voting to approve a conditional
one-year reprieve for the Tidioute school, the board, meeting in
special session Monday, amended that proposal .advanced by Superintendent
Ronald Snyder and voted, 7-2, simply to keep the school open
and request a Middle
States evaluation. In effect, the board granted an indefinite reprieve
to the school which has faced the prospect of closing for a decade.
Another amendment advanced by Director Bernard Hessley, designed
to force the board to vote on closing the school, died for lack
of a second.
Snyder's original proposal would have kept Tidioute Junior-Senior
High School open for the 1989-90 school year. The school
would have been
closed at the
end of that school year if it failed to maintain a 50 percent
building utilization rate. Its ninth- to twelfth-grade students would
have had the option
of, attending Youngsville Junior-Senior High School, West Forest
Junior-Senior High School or Titusville Junior-Senior High
also proposed conducting a Middle States' evaluation of the school. The
in a work session earlier
Snyder’s original reprieve from one year to two after
learning that the evaluation could take a year and a half
to complete. The
to act on the matter at that time, did note that whatever
action it took would not bind either itself or future boards.
Tidioute Junior-Senior High School could once again be proposed
for closing, but the board at that time would be forced to
hold a hearing
and follow the state school code timetable to implement the
proposal, if it had been approved, would have allowed the
school to have been closed automatically if it failed to
the 50 percent
utilization rate at the end of the 1989-90 school year.
The board voted individually on each of the eight schools
for which closing hearings had been held. The votes to
recommended by Snyder earlier this month were near unanimous.
The board voted unanimously
to close McClintock and Lacy elementary schools and had
only one dissenter, Joanne Culbertson, on the vote to close Irvinedale
The board was also unanimous in voting to keep Scandia,
and North Warren elementary schools open.
Director Jeffrey McKown, the Tidioute area's lone representative
on the board, advanced the amendment to Snyder's original
began its discussion on Tidioute Junior-Senior High School.
The amendment won a quick second from Director Donald
that Snyder's original proposal for the school with all its options “assumes failure." The Middle States' evaluation, according
to McKown, would give the Tidioute School a chance "to succeed and not
just survive." McKown maintained that the quality
of education at Tidioute does need to be evaluated.
He asked the district's
whatever recommendations the evaluation produces.
also argued against transferring students on Youngsville
bus route Y-109 to
Tidioute. The approval
of his amendment by the board ended that aspect of
Snyder's proposal designed to bolster enrollment
at Tidioute. The transfer would
have been voluntary
for students already attending Youngsville Junior-Senior
to amend 'McKown's amendment to force a vote
on closing Tidioute
Senior High School at the end of; the 1992-93 school
year. Admitting that his 'proposal would probably "get
me lynched, Hessley recommended keeping Tidioute
Elementary School open and closing
the high school in
if it does not have a 50 percent building utilization
rate. Hessley further, proposed that if the school
were closed, the district
offer to help the
Tidioute area set up an independent school district
or offer Tidioute students the
same options advanced by Snyder.
When Hessley's amendment failed to draw a second,
the board resumed discussing McKown's: amendment
Tubbs strongly urged her colleagues to support
Snyder's recommendation. Tubbs argued
that the school has been recommended for closing
by two studies in 1979 and 1985 and that it was time
the board to
face up to
were a persistently low enrollment level and
staffing problems. Tubbs argued that the directors are
charged by the,
state constitution with running
and efficient" educational system. Tidioute
Junior-Senior High School is neither thorough
nor efficient, I she concluded.
up the same cudgel,
arguing that "we've got to have the courage
to stand up and say this is what we are doing.
These aren't new ideas closing Tidioute
School, we've just had our heads buried in
the sand. We've got to get on with it (closing
Tubbs' colleagues were not so eager "to get on with it." Board
president Director Jon Marti argued that "Tidioute,
like Scandia, is a unique situation whether
we like it or not." Marti noted that
the board had earlier voted to keep Scandia
because of its geographical location. Hessley
earlier referred to Scandia as a "unique" situation
in arguing that it be kept open.
John Lyon countered Tubbs efficient argument
by noting that he did not find the
that ; serious bus wreck could "wipe out every kid
in Tidioute" of secondary school age. McKown also took up the busing issue,
noting that a recent transportation study done for the district by Ketron Inc.
did not favor busing to Youngsville. They were supported by Sobina who claimed
that a trip down Davey Hill Road into Tidioute is "the adventure
of a lifetime."
Allen Norton urged that the district
take positive steps before the Middle States evaluation' to improve
of education at Tidioute.
When the full board voted on McKown's
amendment, keeping the school open
and beginning a
Middle States' evaluation only
Hessley and Tubbs were
Earlier the board heard two Tidioute-area
residents; Harvey Weaver and
Robert Davis, advance arguments
for keeping the
safety and the quality of Tidioute
The board also voted to have the administration
conduct an in-house study on
Snyder's proposal for elementary
would be formed by grouping
primary- and intermediate-level elementary
students at different schools.
The board voted to close McClintock
after hearing a resident
in the area served
by: that school,
McClintock's students between
Pleasant and Market Street elementary schools.
be made at the
board's May meeting.
vote to close Lacy drew no citizen representative
but did evoke remembrances
Marti who attended
noted attendance differences
from those days to now
and concluded that
the decline "Lacy
is no longer viable."
president of the Irvinedale PTA,
keeping his school
conjunction with Lacy
parents to bus
Lacy students to Irvinedale
would keep Irvinedale
at a sufficiently
that the high
capital costs of
as projected by the
it is part
upgrading and "maintenance
program. He maintained
that closing the schools
will reduce property values in Glade Township.
Wallin's main argument, the Lacy
was undercut by board members who argued that all Lacy students would
have to be bused
while some of those students
could walk to South
Street School in
responding to Wallin touched
on the central
in the school
of the main premises
a parochial attitude (Wallin's assertion that Irvinedale was Glade Township's
school). It isn't your school; it's our school. We're all in this together Warren
County is not a growing area, Hessley argued, citing declines in population and
tax base. "We are in a decline. We have to wake up and smell the coffee," he
By CHUCK HAYES
A new supermarket may be built on the property where the vacant Lacy
Elementary School now stands.
Anderson’s Supermarket, which has an existing business on Warren’s
east side, submitted the highest
bid among five bids on the property received by school officials
to Larry Conrad, business manager for the Warren County School
Anderson’s Supermarket Inc. submitted a bid of $90,000, which
was in line with an $89,000
appraisal of the Lacy property obtained by the school district
and almost $20,000 more than the next highest bidder’s proposal.
Other bidders were the First Salem United Methodist Church, $10,000;
David Swanson, attorney, $10,150; Merlin Bearfield, $15,300,
and Robert W. Leathers,$70,223.40.
Conrad said the Building and Grounds Committee of the school
board will meet Thursday, Dec. 21, to make a recommendation
on which bid should be accepted. The full board may take action on
the proposed sale at its Jan. 8 meeting, said Conrad.
Conrad said the Lacy property includes about 300 feet of
frontage along Pennsylvania Ave., E., and extends
north along Marion St. about 300 feet, to a point near the small
baseball backstop near the parking lot of
the school. In deciding to sell the school, Building and Grounds
Committee members agreed the playground and
ballfield areas, the only such facilities in the eastern section
of Warren, should be preserved for public use
and excluded from the property sale.
Anderson, owner of Anderson’s supermarket,
said Wednesday that assuming his bid is accepted and rezoning
is approved, plans are to remove the school building and build
a new supermarket there. The new supermarket would
replace the existing store, said Anderson, and the present store
at 1817 Pennsylvania Ave.,.E., would probably be sold.
explained, “We’re landlocked where we are now — we
can’t go sideways or forward with expansion,
so we’ve been waiting for the right time and the right opportunity.
This is the first step.
Warren Zoning Officer James Pillar said that the parcel on which
Lacy is located is presently zoned residential
(R-3) and would have to be rezoned to commercial (C-2) before a supermarket
could be built there. If the property were
rezoned to commercial, said Pillar, Anderson’s would only have
to show that it could provide sufficient parking.
Anderson said he is aware of the need to rezone
the property, but expressed confidence that can be accomplished.
There are businesses located directly east and west of the school
The timetable for building the new supermarket depends on
how quickly the zoning matter can be resolved, said Anderson,
but he expects the new store will be open by sometime in 1990.
Lacy time capsule rekindles memories
for former students
Warren Times Observer 4-4-1990
By LYNN SAMUELS
funny how times have changed.”
that, Alice Anderson looked back at the days when Lacy Elementary
was built. It’s now six decades later,
and Lacy is being torn down.
A time capsule that was embedded in the old building in
1928 was opened Monday. bringing back a flood of memories for those
who were around then.
Anderson was a teacher way back then, and eventually became the
principal at the school. “I’m 94 now.” she said
in a telephone interview Tuesday.
the demolition, she said, “It made me
heartsick when I went by the building.” The former principal,
who retired in 1961, said, “All the trees in the front yard
were down.” Anderson explained that even though it’s
difficult for her to get around, she is still able to drive a car
and she’s been driving
around her old stomping grounds.
“ I went by today (Tuesday). They were tearing down
the building.” she said. The workers were taking out the
old windows as they tore down the front of the structure.
“ When you’ve spent so many years in a building.
it’s a shame.” she said. “That school was well-built.
It’s a shame they’re tearing it down.”
what it was like to teach school in those days, Anderson said, “You were not allowed to be married and be
a teacher.” She said she had contemplated marriage, but later
changed her mind.
“ One teacher at the old Glade building was fired because she was seen
having dinner with a man. You couldn’t go out in public with a man,” she
said. “Now nearly every teacher has a missus in front of her name,” she
said. “Oh. how customs have changed.”
Jane Mohr Weaver was in the fourth grade when the time capsule
was assembled. “We all had to sign our names
on a piece of paper,” she recalled. “Each grade was
listed and they were all clipped together.”
At that time she was attending the old Glade School on
the corner of Park Ave. and Locust St., and Lacy was being built
to replace it.
“The whole school marched up from the old school to
Lacy ”, she said. “We all went.” Weaver, who
said the following year she started fifth grade at Lacy. recalled
some of the contents that were placed in the time capsule. Among
them were a list of pupils, a flag. several copies of the local~
newspaper. a picture of President Hoover, a nickel, and several
envelopes of things pertaining to the school district. “It
was just something to do in school at that time,” she recalled.
was present, however. as the time capsule was opened Monday. “It took you back to old acquaintances,” she
said. adding, “A lot of them are dead now.”
Smith was also present when the time capsule was put into the
of the building, and when it was taken
out. “I remember standing out front.” she recalled.
She said she must have been in the seventh grade. “It’s
a long time ago. I remember standing there when they put it in.
I didn’t think it would be torn down before I died. They
shouldn’t have torn it down. it’s too nice of a building.” she
said. “It makes you nostalgic.”
surprised Smith when the time capsule was opened was the condition
contents. “It was amazing what good
condition the stuff was in,” she said. “it was just
like it was written yesterday.”