Yesterday, Pittsburgh Public Schools announced that it is considering a new plan regarding the realignment of Perry and Oliver high schools.

Exactly two months after announcing a district-wide realignment plan that would close seven schools, including Northview PreK-8 and Oliver High School, Pittsburgh Public Schools announced that it is considering keeping Oliver’s building open as a high school rather than Perry’s.

The original plan announced on August 4 called for merging of Perry and Oliver high schools and named Perry as the combined school’s venue and Oliver as the new location for Pittsburgh Public Schools special education offices and the McNaugher Education Center.

“I remain open to making adjustments to the plan and will carefully weigh the Board’s feedback tonight from what I am hearing from the community,” said Dr. Linda Lane, Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent.

A Pittsburgh Public Schools press release listed several reasons for considering keeping Oliver open – Oliver’s child care program that serves 12 students, its larger sports facilities, parking lot,  auditorium and student capacity.

Oliver’s building can hold 1,796 students, though the combined high school will house less than 1,000 students.

At a community meeting on September 15, several parents said they would pull their children from the district if Perry were to move into Oliver’s building.

The press release also listed keeping students at one location to participate programs like JROTC and career and technical education classes as an advantage of the Oliver building.

However, members of the community have already assembled a petition to save Perry High School and the magnet program.

Though the Northside Leadership Conference’s education committee has not taken an official position on the issue, they plan to tour both facilities in the coming week.

NSLC Executive Director Mark Fatla said the committee’s priority is to obtain a comprehensive high school for the Northside that serves all students of all levels and abilities, regardless of which building is used.

There will be a community meeting to discuss the merge in Perry’s library on October 17, and a public hearing with the Pittsburgh Public School Board on October 24.