Despite pleas from parents, the Hempfield Area (Pa.) school board has approved a plan to consolidate the district’s three middle schools into two.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the district’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade students will all attend Wendover or West Hempfield Middle beginning next school year. Harrold Middle School in Greensburg will be converted to a ninth-grade campus while Hempfield Area High School undergoes a $128 million revitalization.
Opponents of the middle school consolidation argued to the board that the decision could lead to crowded classrooms, transportation troubles and a negative effect on student well-being.
From the district’s perspective, declining enrollment—student numbers are down about 30% since 1993—points to a need for just two middle schools.
Harrold Middle enrollment has dropped the most during that time frame—a 42% decline.