Approve New School Plan

Students in the Shadyside Local School District could be attending classes in a new building, within the next few years, if a couple of factors play out as officials hope.

During meetings last week, Shadyside Board of Education members discussed plans for a new $31 million facility to serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Not since 1965 has the district constructed new facilities, said school Superintendent John Haswell. “We are looking forward to our time in the near future,” he added.

Board members last week took initial action toward obtaining state funds for the building project. They approved a resolution for the district to enter the state’s Expedited Local Partnership Program. That could lead to about 78% of the cost being paid by the state.

Approval by the state Facilities Construction Commission, which is slated to meet June 25, is needed. Once that happens, the district would have one year to secure the local share of the project, about $6.8 million.

That is a lot of money, but Shadyside may have a mechanism to cover most or all of it. That involves the proposal for construction of an ethane cracker plant at Dilles Bottom, by PTT Global Chemical America and Daelim Chemical USA. Indications are the plant will be built — though an announcement it will proceed has not been made.

In March, the school board agreed to a plan whereby the two companies will pay the district $38 million, over 19 years — if the plant is built.

Should that occur, Shadyside schools would have a new revenue stream more than adequate to cover its share of the cost of new education facilities.

First, of course, the state commission must approve the district’s plan. We encourage members of that panel to say yes to Shadyside, which is positioned well to cover the local share — and where new, modern school facilities are long overdue.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)