Community fights to save West Creek Hills Elementary School

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CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) – The community is fighting for the future of West Creek Hills Elementary School in the East Pennsboro School District. The district is proposing the option to shut it down, as a result of a feasibility study conducted last year.

The Wilsons have long ties to West Creek Elementary. Their son John attended kindergarten there the year it opened in 1966.

Sandy Wilson was also a teacher there for 30 years.

“I have adults that will come up to me and say, ‘I remember when you were substituting, Mrs. Wilson. I like the stories you told,'” Wilson said.

The Wilson family is now behind all the bright orange signs in their neighborhood and beyond that say ‘Save West Creek School.’

The school could be closed if East Pennsboro’s district goes with either two of seven options to fix up the schools and possibly redistrict. The option proposals were finalized as a result of a feasibility study in 2016.

Superintendent Jay Burkhart says all of the districts four schools need repair.

“It’s an opportunity to consolidate onto one campus, which would help with the operation of the district as well,” Burkhart said.

The campus would be on the Enola side of the district. The school board attempted to do the same thing 20 years ago, but community support led them to renovate West Creek instead, at an $8.4 million expense.

“The place now looks like a Taj Mahal. It’s absolutely impeccable in there,” John Wilson said.

The superintendent says, although closing West Creek is just a proposal on the table, if the district chooses to do so, they will look into other uses for the building.

“We would hope to assemble a committee that would look into options for that,” Burkhart said. “Conduct a study, which would include a community use.”

Burkhart says there will be another community meeting before the board makes a decision on the district’s future.

The Wilsons, there since the beginning, say they’ll continue to fight, so it’s not the end.

“This is all we have on this side of the creek,” Sandy said. “Our school.”Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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