In a letter to parents, staff and community members posted on the district's website, Southern Lehigh School District superintendent Leah Christman stressed that a special public hearing scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. doesn't guarantee that an elementary school in the district will close.
"This hearing does not guarantee the closing of a building—either Hopewell or Lower Milford Elementary—although that could eventually result," she said. "The hearing provides an opportunity for the public to become informed of the details surrounding a decision on how to plan for our school building needs."
A public hearing is required by the state whenever a district is contemplating closing an elementary school, and school board members agreed last month that it's possible that either Hopewell or Lower Milford Elementary School will be shuttered.
Both schools need millions of dollars in renovations, and board members are currently wrestling with a number of options that involve expansion, renovation and/or closure.
The Oct. 24 hearing will be held in the Southern Lehigh Middle School auditorium beginning at 7:30 p.m.
"The hearing will review information previously presented at the Aug. 28 special board meeting, and at the follow-up Sept. 23 board meeting," Christman said in the letter.
"Additional information regarding new options proposed on Sept. 23 will be shared," she added. "These include closing Hopewell and redistributing students in a variety of configurations to Liberty Bell, Lower Milford and the Intermediate School."
After the presentation, there will be a public comment period.
Christman stressed that the board won't make any final decisions at the Oct. 24 hearing.
"A decision on future plans for the elementary buildings will be made after a minimum 3-month waiting period," she wrote. "The earliest a decision could occur would be the end of January 2014."
Additional information about the various options under review is posted on the Elementary Buildings-Planning page of the school district's website.