DCIU proposed expansion of technical school in AstonBy LorettaRodgers

A meeting to discuss a proposal submitted by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) to enlarge the Delaware County Technical High School, 100 Crozerville Road in Aston, will take place 7 P.M., Tuesday, Feb. 4th at the school.

Aston commissioners were scheduled to discuss the proposal at last week’s regular meeting, but a number of telephone inquiries by concerned residents resulted in the discussion being tabled.

Second Ward Commissioner Carol Graham said DCIU wanted to attend the January commissioners meeting and that commissioners themselves also had questions about the plan. Engineer Joe Viscuso said the DCIU proposal was presented to the township Planning Commission in December.

Prior to the discussion, Graham read a prepared statement.

“There has been some confusion about this expansion and the intended use of the property,” Graham said. “I reached out to the IU and they have agreed to postpone their request.”

DCIU wants to move students from leased spaces at the Delaware County Academy at the Collingdale Community School and the County Alternative School in Middletown to the Aston site. Letters were distributed to residents near the technical school, but issues remain about the lack of information and overall timing of the proposal.

“When (did) you first learn about this proposal?” asked Aston resident Carol Cannon. “They (DCIU) didn’t wake up on Jan. 2nd plan?”

Cannon added that she has serious reservations, especially relating to the infrastructure.

“That bridge is falling down, and you are going to bring another 500 kids into that building?” she asked.

In addition to early childhood education, the schools at the Collingdale and Middletown sites provide emotional support for youths over age 14. DCIU has said it hopes to have a multi-use facility at the Aston site to serve the entire county, which would be cost effective.

If the proposal is successful, the expanded Aston site will house approximately 800 students; 500 more than attend the school currently, and if approved, renovations will begin in June and completed by November 2015. It is expected that the building will not be in full use until the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

Aston commissioners reiterated several times that the public is encouraged to attend the Feb. 4th informational meeting.

A formal hearing on the proposal will take place during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of
Commissioners at 7 P.M., Wednesday, Feb. 19th and say they are going to do this. Were you planning to meet with residents about this  at the township building on Pennell Road.

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