During a work session of the Cumberland County Board of Education tonight, second district board member Robert Safdie suggested an additional 1 million dollars to the renovation and expansion of Crab Orchard Elementary with a catch. Safdie suggested the eventual closing of Pine View Elementary School once the renovation and expansion of Crab Orchard Elementary was completed.
The current project on deck for Crab Orchard Elementary School calls for 9.3 million dollars of work to be done in the next three years. With Safdie’s suggestion, it would boost the total project to just over 10 million dollars to tack on an additional ten classrooms to the current plan.
Director of Schools Janet Graham responded in saying that Pine View is an excellent school with a wonderful renovation that was done a few years ago. Graham added that Pine View must be treated as fairly as the other elementary schools in Cumberland County.
Fourth district board member and chairman Josh Stone said the board is trying to provide the best enviroment for Pine View but the state is requiring all county school systems to submit a cost that each school is undertaking for the education of their students. The concern is that Pine View has around 170 students compared to much larger elementary schools in the county.
Sixth district school board member Tom Netherton, who represents Pine View and Crab Orchard, then addressed Safdie with a comment.
“I will be glad to take you to Pine View to tour the facility and even have a town hall meeting there if you wish.”
Graham, along with board member Don Hassler, said that Pine View has strong community support and is very close to ones who live in the area of the school.
Stone then said that the nearby industrial park to the school could show rapid growth in the future. If that takes place, Pine View will be needed to hold the additional children of families that could locate to the far eastern part of Cumberland County.
“We have put too much money into Pine View to entertain possibly closing it” said Hassler.
The issue was not discussed again past that point.