Click to copy
Click to copy

Consider All Options For W-B Area School Site

April 5, 2019

Editor: The final contracts on the new Wilkes-Barre Area combined school in Plains Twp. have been approved, putting the price tag for the new project at around $137 million. With the school district already financially strapped, they should be looking at ways to bring the costs down as well as still looking for other sites before moving ahead with construction. There is one site that already fits the plans for the project. The building is in great shape and clearly has enough space to fill the needs of the area. It needs plenty of renovation to the inside, but could probably be ready for use by the fall of 2020 at a fraction of the cost of the new school. I am speaking of the Wyoming Valley Mall. With so many empty spaces and more on the way, renovating the mall would be an easy way to fill the needs of the district. The site provides easier traffic than the Plains Twp. site, more parking, and is a lot more stable than the site proposed on abandoned coal mine land near Maffett Street. The furthest anyone would have to travel by bus to the mall site would be about 20 minutes. With online shopping dominating the retail market, it probably wouldn’t be a stretch for most of the tenants, which consists mostly of wireless telephone stores, to want to cut their losses and move on. I am surprised that nobody considered this as a possibility but I think it is one that the school board should look into. They have already spent a lot of money on other studies, so why not look into one other option? If I was going to spend that kind of money, I would make sure I considered all options. Matthew Burdett PITTSTON

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.