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Woodland Hills considers merging schools

Pittsburgh Tribune ReviewBy Karen Zapf
Thursday, October 4, 2007

A committee of Woodland Hills School District residents has recommended a single building for the district’s junior high students, currently being taught in two schools.
Committee members told the school board Wednesday night they recommend using either East or West junior high schools or constructing a new building. East Junior High is in Turtle Creek and West Junior High is in Swissvale.

The committee recommended reusing East Junior High if the board decides it should not continue to function as a junior high school. “The consensus is, please don’t tear it down and turn it into a parking lot,” said George Pike, a member of the committee.

The committee’s suggested uses include a magnet school, an administration building, community or senior center or selling the building to a developer.

East Junior High is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The committee did not attach a dollar figure to its recommendations.

The group met four times in September to come up with a plan as to the future for the district’s approximately 700 junior high students. Both schools house the district’s seventh and eighth graders.

The school board is expected to vote on the committee’s recommendation during its 7:30 p.m. meeting on Wednesday.

Pete and Terri Rubash of Churchill, who have three children in the district, wanted a decision immediately.

“Get five votes and just do it,” said Pete Rubash, 48, who was a member of a committee studying the junior high situation two years ago. “You have a roomful of people at East Junior High who don’t know what’s going to go on.”

Rubash said a single junior high school makes sense. Rubash said he believes East Junior High, which is larger and has easier access than the other, is the best choice.

“It would balance the district so there is a (school) presence in the east and in the west,” Rubash said.

Karen Zapf can be reached at or 412-380-8522.

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