Quaker Valley Residents Bring Leetsdale Property Concerns to School Board
A crowd of about 150 people attended the Quaker Valley School Board work session meeting, prompting a move to the gym to accomodate the group.
“I ask that you put the properties that you’ve already purchased back on the market for resale and return the proceeds from those sales back to the capital reserve fund,” the Quaker Heights resident said.
Weber was one of the Concerned Taxpayers of Quaker Valley group members who spoke at the board meeting regarding the ongoing issues pertaining to the high school. About 150 people attended Tuesday night at Edgeworth Elementary School, where the meeting was relocated inside the gymnasium to accommodate the larger-than-usual crowd.
Residents say they are worried that plans to raze three homes for a drop-off zone and parking lot next to the high school will destroy the neighborhood of nine homes on Beaver Street. Quaker Valley has purchased two of three homes needed, totaling $400,000. Members of the concerned taxpayers group have run advertisements, sent out mailers and picketed outside the high school, in an effort to raise awareness about the plans.
Leetsdale resident Beth Carroll, also president of the Concerned Taxpayers of Quaker Valley, said the group believes the board can work collectively to resolve the safety issues without enlarging the high school’s footprint.
“You can't have a neighborhood school without a neighborhood,” Carroll said.
Pat Happe of Sewickley praised the district for high student achievement, saying "This presentation makes me proud to live here," referring to an earlier presentation from Superintendent Joseph Clapper showing a collection of the district's most recent accomplishments.
But Happe told the board she feels there's a better way to deal with the issue, adding that it's OK to change course and "correct a wrong."
Earlier this year, the board approved a traffic study that was conducted in the spring, but the results aren't expected to be presented until October.
Weber, a retired construction manager and engineer, said in his observation, the steep slope of the land doesn’t lend itself to a cheap solution and he foresees the district will spend many times the $775,000 in the capital reserve fund when it's all said and done.
"You have already spent $400,000 on the bare cost of two of the properties...," Weber said.
Leetsdale resident John Kroeck joined Weber in asking the board for a vote to place the two properties back on the market. Kroeck also commented that nearly half of students getting dropped off aren't using a cross walk. He demanded a crossing guard immediately be placed at Valley Lane.
None of the board members spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting except to remind the public to be respectful of one another.
Carroll said administrators have reached out to the concerned citizens group and met some of them earlier this week to discuss the issues. She said the group remains hopeful.
“We want to maintain a respectful dialogue,” Carroll said.