Hempfield Area College Consolidation, Subject of Chronological Meeting

Hempfield Area School District leaders are hosting a briefing this week to discuss possible college consolidation plans.

The session is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in the Harrold Middle School auditorium, 1368 Middletown Road.

Officials will discuss consolidating sixth, seventh and eighth year pupils at Wendover and West Hempfield colleges from the 2023-2024 school year. They also plan to discuss the temporary transfer of ninth graders from high school to Harrold Middle School while the high school undergoes a multi-million dollar renovation project.

The goal is to limit the number of high school students during the project, which involves tearing down the building down to its structural system and rebuilding everything from scratch.

Discussions during the meeting will include the rationale for the possible change, the benefits and challenges, and a timeline should officials move forward with the proposal.

The idea was proposed last month. At the time, officials looked to a district-wide feasibility study completed this year as justification for the project. The study looked at each of the buildings in the neighborhood, looking at electrical, mechanical and architectural issues. The study also included enrollment projections for future school years.

Based on those estimates, Wendover and West Hempfield are able to house all college students and staff while having space for potential growth, officials said.

Board action on the proposal could take place as early as August.

Monday’s session will be preceded by a board workshop, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room, 4347 Route 136.

During the workshop, principals will receive an update from the project architect on programming planning.

The renovation of the school is in the design phase, which could take about a year. Construction could begin as early as June 2023. The goal is to complete the project by the 2025-26 school year.

Megan Tomasic is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, mtomasic@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Jessica C. Bell