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North Hills Superintendent: Heartland Homes Development of Highland CC Won't Significantly Impact District

Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino said the school district can easily absorb the projected number of students coming from the proposed 300 homes and townhouses.

If developers win approval to build 300 homes and townhouses on the 117 acres of the former Highland Country Club, North Hills Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino said the district would easily be able to handle the influx of new students.

"The demographic studies that they're showing, based on the price of the housing, the type of housing and style, doesn't create a significant impact on our schools," said Mannarino. "We have room in our schools, they may just not be at Highcliff or at West View."

Mannarino said if push came to shove, the district could always consider reopening Seville Elementary, which closed in 2010.

"That's also the reason we've never even had a conversation about selling Seville," he said. "In the event that the population explodes, and we're looking at 450 to 500 graduating classes again, then you'd have a safety valve in Seville." 

Mannarino admits that once all of the Heartland Homes are built, some elementary redistricting may be necessary, but it's much too early to say for sure.

"The reality is that we have four districts now, four elementary schools, four small districts," said Mannarino. "We're going to have to talk about the fact that that worked for 2008. It might not necessarily work based upon what neighborhoods students are coming out of in 2015."

As far as the tax base, Mannarino said the Heartland plan is good news for the district.

"On the revenue side it is a major, major benefit," he said.

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AnonymousNorthHills December 07, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Schools are an issue and a BIG issue. We have a lot of homes for sale in Ross Twp it is just people want to buy new. Traffic is going to suck big time and West View Borough will be the brunt of it. Another point is if they are buying these $350,000 homes they probably will go to Ben Avon Heights to shop for food and go to Cranberry Twp to shop and NOT Ross Twp. Last point with all that money we can afford new teachers and that is great however they can remove the charter that after 25 students they need an aide and our children suffer and I think there will be more like 300 kids as well and how long til you build new a new school. Cost of trailers and equipment would be an added cost.
Sam Smith December 07, 2012 at 03:00 PM
According to publicly available deed information, this parcel (10 acres more or less)was purchased by the School District of the Township of Ross on 10-23-1926 from Mr. John E. Winner for $9,000 ( a lot of money in 1926). The School District subsequently transfered a 100 foot by 203.7 foot section to the volunteer fire company in 3 parts in 1934, 1940, and 1952 (according to the deed). (Deed book 2297 - P. 709). It would further appear that the property was transfered to the name of North Hills School District in 1983 (according to the Allegheny County real estate web page for lot & block 161-L-225). Nowhere did I see anything about any property donation and there is nothing in the deed limiting ownership rights in any way.
B Concerned December 08, 2012 at 03:42 PM
This is an assumption. Not buying.
B Concerned December 08, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I think the whole thing stinks!! I didn't move near highland a few years ago so that I have to worry about increased traffic and my kid having to be shipped off to possibly Seville when I live close to Highcliff. I dont need my property taxes increasing again because my home value is evaluated to be higher that what it can be sold for. Some developement would be ok but not to the extent that is being spoke of.And pulling out of Casper onto Gass Rd is going to be much less safer. Something should have been done about that by now. If the comment about what happened in Ohio Township is true, well.....where is that Uhaul?
John Schalcosky December 08, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Sam Smith - Thanks for the during the research!! I am very impressed!!

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