Schools Wants the Public to Weigh in on Possible Merger

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POTTSVILLE -- The Pottsville Area and Saint Clair Area school districts have had a close relationship for about 25 years, but they might just become one.

The school boards are discussing a possible merger between the districts.

School officials hired a firm to complete a feasibility study on the idea.

The results are out and the schools want to public to weigh in.

"We really want the taxpayers community feedback from both communities. This is not a decision, obviously, to be taken lightly," said Pottsville Area Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Zwiebel.

The study lists three options: to stay the way it is now, to merge or for Pottsville to take over the education, but Saint Clair to continue to operate its own school board.

Either way, officials said schools across the state and strapped for cash.

"We're hoping down the road there is some assistance from PED and Commonwealth," said Stephen Curran, Pottsville Area Business Manager.

The high school in Pottsville wouldn't be affected by the merger, if it happens.That's because back in the late 80's,

That's because back in the late 80's, Pottsville and Saint Clair merged high schools.

School colors wouldn't change and neither would the mascot.

Officials said they would keep open all of the schools between the two districts and the merger would add about 600 students to Pottsville.

According to the report, taxes could change and each district would have to take on the other's expenses.

Even so, some taxpayers said it's a good idea.

"You don't have the confusing part of my kids are going to go here for elementary and here for high school. So, I believe it's a great idea," said Peter Simmons of Pottsville.

While others think the two districts should stay that way, separate.

"Leave the kids here. I never agreed with them when transferred the high school kids," said Ed Lecher of Saint Clair.

A public meeting on the proposed merger will be held at the D.H.H. Lengle Middle School on March 9th at 7:30 p.m.

The full report is posted on Pottsville area's website and there's also a section for comments and feedback.

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