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Board OK's George Washington School Demolition

By Mary Shelly
The Tube City Almanac
December 11, 2017
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

The vacant George Washington Elementary School will be demolished.

At last week’s board meeting, the McKeesport Area School Board voted to withdraw money from the district’s fund balance to tear down the school, which closed in 2014.

Located in the Seventh Ward between Freemont and Sumac streets, the building, constructed in 1928, sits on nearly two acres of land.

In other business, Superintendent Mark Holtzman reported on his recent study of the district, conducted along with Tia Wanzo, assistant to the superintendent.

Holtzman said a mix of staff interviews and surveys were used to collect data on what they believe are the “core values” of the district.

The data was used to create a document that “gives some real insight into the work that will happen here in the next five years,” Holtzman said.

The five-year plan will be printed in an upcoming issue of In McKeesport magazine, he said.

During committee reports, Holtzman said that even though McKeesport’s varsity football team was recategorized as class 4A by the PIAA, the district will “play up” and continue to compete in Class 5A.

School Director Mindy Sturgess reported for the Education Committee that the high school is looking into reintroducing credentials for graduation incentives.

These incentives would include an additional stamp on a student’s diploma which could only be achieved after taking certain courses to specialize in that subject.

If introduced, the incentives would apply to an upcoming freshman class, not to current students.

Lopretto thanked McKeesport fire department, McKeesport police and school district staff for helping with the Coats for Kids clothing drive.

With more than $10,000 raised as well as additional donations from Pittsburgh Firefighters Local Union 1, all 770 students at Twin Rivers received a new winter coat, Lopretto said.

Lopretto said he would like to continue with the fundraiser next year and expand it to provide even more children with coats.

The board voted unanimously to authorize repairs to an elevator at the high school; accept a proposal from Sun Life Financial for lower life insurance coverage rates than the district’s current plan with MetLife; and approve the proposed workbooks for the engineering program at the McKeesport Area Career and Technology Center.

Mary Shelly is a graduating senior at McKeesport Area High School and a freelance writer. Editor Jason Togyer contributed historic data about George Washington School to this story.

Originally published December 11, 2017.

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