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Hopewell School District to Hold 2nd Facility Planning Community Meeting Today

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The Hopewell Area School District will hold a second very important facility meeting and is very much looking for input from the community.

Over the last few months and particularly the last couple days since the most recent meeting plenty of opinions have been shared and questions raised on Facebook.

Unfortunately, as is often times the case, not all these opinions are factual, which in turn leads to misinformation.

The best way to prevent this but at the same time, ask important questions to the leaders of the Hopewell School District is to show up and voice your opinion and find out the answers to your questions.

The community meeting will take place today at Noon at Hopewell Senior High School.

Here are some facts:

*The current enrollment in the Hopewell Area School District is 2,051 students.

*Since 1999, that is a decline of 37%. This decline in students at Hopewell Township’s school district matches state studies of the declining population in Beaver County.

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*The goal for the district is three fold: improving the educational environment for students and teachers, eliminating inter building staffing inequities and reducing the overall costs for taxpayers.

Two of the options is to move the 7th and 8th graders from the junior high to the senior high school. That setup is common for many districts across the country.

Another option being talked about is the construction of new school buildings- possibly a new high school or building a larger elementary school.

In a recent interview with the Beaver County Times, Hopewell Superintendent Dr. Jeff Beltz had this to say on the issue of funding new building.

”Even though we’re trying to go through a process and select a viable option, we realize that we’ve got to be able to pay for it for years to come,” said Beltz. “There’s some other funding bond challenges that we’re still actually paying on some of the rebate renovations from prior, so those are still on our books and we’re still trying to navigate that process, too. So, it’s more than just picking the nicest, prettiest option. It’s being able to afford it is important.”

This is a challenging issue to say the least and the obvious goal is to select the most responsible option that at the same time, allows the Hopewell students to receive the best education possible in a environment.

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