The Pittsburgh Public School District is seeking public input on how to best use the district's building at community meetings tonight and tomorrow night. The consultant DeJong was hired to develop a report to serve as a basis for a 10-year facilities plan as part of the District's Strategic Plan. Superintendent Mark Roosevelt says the district has 3 million square feet of excess capacity and student enrollment is projected to decline from the current 26, 326 to 21,498 by the 2018-19 school year...."the study will provide us with guidance regarding which facilities can best accommodate the needs of current and future academic programs." Roosevelt says community input is important to get thought about having a K-8 school in the neighborhood; or would residents like to have the high school converted to a 6 through 12 school; and is it worthwhile to have theme-based schools if it means having your child travel across the city to get there.
Roosevelt says closing 22 schools three years ago was a very "dramatic process and painful" but the extra building capacity of high schools was not addressed.
Roosevelt says that a facilities plan must consider that traditional high schools are meeting the needs of fewer and fewer students while there are waiting lists for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School, the Science and Technology School, and the International Baccalaureate Program. He says the question must be addressed about career and technical education...should there be a program at each traditional high school...or just one career and technical education center.
Roosevelt says he expects a blueprint for a plan in the next 4 to 5 months for the school board to consider.