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On Halloween, Mark Roosevelt, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, announced that he's attempting again to close Schenley High School and move its students out of Oakland into existing Middle School buildings in East Liberty and the Hill District
 
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11-10-07 Schenley High School allies plan for a fight

 
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:21 am    Post subject: 11-10-07 Schenley High School allies plan for a fight Reply with quote



Schenley High School allies plan for a fight

By Bill Zlatos
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, November 10, 2007

Schenley High School supporters worry officials will seal its fate with a vote Wednesday, despite assurances from the school board.

Parents, alumni and friends will meet at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning from 3 to 6 p.m. today to devise a plan to persuade board officials not to close the 91-year-old school. The meeting will be in room 326.

City schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt recommended closing Schenley because of the $64.3 million cost to remove asbestos and repair its mechanical systems. The school board has scheduled a vote on closing Schenley for Feb. 27, 2008, but some advocates fear the real vote could come much earlier.

"There's a high probability that this decision will, in effect, be made Wednesday at 6 o'clock," said Jet Lafean, 56, of Schenley Farms.

That's when the board adopts an improvement plan that includes creating four grade 6-12 schools. Two of those facilities, Reizenstein and Milliones, would accommodate some of the 1,130 students from Schenley.

Board President William Isler said the district is legally required to have a single, separate vote on closing a school. He disagreed that Wednesday's vote on the improvement plan would commit the district to closing Schenley. The board is required to send a plan to the state because of the district's failure to meet federal standards.

"We're saying this is what we're talking about over the next year," Isler said. "We're not saying we're going to do it."

The other key date is Dec. 19, when the board is scheduled to vote on a capital budget of $41.7 million for 2008. That budget includes $14.2 million for reopening Reizenstein, $11 million for reopening Milliones and $3 million for moving Schenley's robotics program to Peabody High School.

Isler said the board still has to vote on individual projects in the capital budget before the money can be spent.

"Having money in the budget doesn't mean the action will be taken," district spokeswoman Lisa Fischett said. "It just means the money will be there."

Bill Zlatos can be reached at bzlatos@tribweb.com or 412-320-7828.
Images and text copyright 2007 by The Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
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