WILKES-BARRE — For weeks there have been questions about whether two high schools in Wilkes-Barre are structurally sound. Now the Wilkes-Barre area school district is now considering building a new school.
A crack here, a crumble there, and suddenly caution tape surrounds not one, but two, high schools in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, leaving the parents of children at Coughlin and Meyers High Schools to wonder what’s next.
“It poses a major concern because I still have one more here, and I want him to have a good school year, and I don’t want nothing to happen to him,” said parent Shirleathia Watson.
Now the Wilkes-Barre Area School District is requesting proposals from design groups for a feasibility study. The study would evaluate the district’s three high schools and five other sites with the possibility of building a new high school there.
“We are doing these studies in regard to making the best decision for the future of this district,” said Wilkes-Barre Area School District Superintendent Bernie Prevuznak.
One of the places the district is considering putting a possible new school is behind the Solomon Plains School.
The superintendent says this is ideal because the district already owns the land.
Other sites under consideration, such as the Old Valley Crest Nursing Home in Plains Township, would have to be purchased.
Eighth grader Curtis Smith lives near Meyers and is looking forward to starting school there in the fall.
“I’m trying to do better at my grades, get into sports,” said Curtis.
But he says he doesn’t want to commute if a new high school is built somewhere else.
“Construction workers should just come and fix it up. Just make it better so then kids would have to go to different areas, so then they could go to the same school they were in before,” he said.
The proposals from design groups are due by July 1. Then the feasibility study would begin. That study could last several months.
District officials say the high schools will be inspected before the fall to ensure they’re safe for students next school year.