WILKES-BARRE – Plans to renovate Meyers High School should be scrapped, an architect told the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board Monday, throwing a likely knockout blow at efforts to preserve the venerable building...the building foundation has settled in spots up to four times more than expected, creating situations where the floors can drop by up to six inches from one side to the other.
The original plan to renovate the three city highs schools will have to be revamped. The fact that the school is not worth saving is going to upset a lot of people, including my Mom, who went there.
The idea of the neighborhood school died a long time ago and this is just another one that will go by the wayside. The recent Catholic school closings follow a long list of elementary/high schools closings. My academic career started at Courtright Ave grade school and when that building fell apart I went to the brand new Dan Flood Elementary School that opened in 1969. It was built on the Coughlin HS baseball field next to the Guthrie school football field which had been previously closed. We got a new new grade school but lost the baseball field where I learned to play the game. A bad trade in my opinion. In 1972 the state mandated a consolidation of school districts that got the number down to just 503. I don't know how many there were before that. I remember that the whole west side had to attend the Wyoming Valley West HS instead of schools in Luzerne, Kingston and other towns. Not counting how many grade schools were closed. So going off to 7th grade at the Plains Junior High School I had to take a bus for the first time in my life. Before that I always walked to school. Plains Jr. HS is now a IMU facility and most grade schools of my youth are closed. Enough reminiscing.
We are told that the best way to teach our kids is in small classes but the trend of the last few years has been to build mega-schools. Spending $35 million to renovate a high school that may drown doesn't make much sense and we will see what other problems the architects will find with GAR and Coughlin. Coughlin HS on N Washington St was designated a KOZ zone a few years ago so you know that they will find some fatal flaw in that campus and GAR is just in a bad place.
I think every candidate in the last School Board election ran on a promise to keep all 3 city high schools open. Frank Pizzella may restore some order to this group or he might just have everybodys legs broken.