|Officials: Retrofitting LMHS can address future space issues|
It is expected enough students will opt for LM and its enhanced capacity, so that no brand new construction will be required at either school. Ultimately, the lives of few are bound to be upended by this relatively featherweight redistricting. Both high schools are excellent and, if anything, the commutes of some students may even be slightly shortened by the opportunity to choose Ardmore over Rosemont.
But the situation bears watching. The expected surge in high-school population is already being felt at the
|LMSD Enrollment Bulletins|
But just a few miles away in University City, infatuation with high-quality, affordable public education is exceeding sustainablility and has created a mini real estate bubble that may be about to pop. The Penn Alexander School - which serves public school grades K-8 in a Catchment Zone running (E-W) from 40th to 47th Streets and (N-S) from Sansom to (roughly) Baltimore Ave - opened in 2001 and receives substantial financial and institutional support from its prestigious neighbor, the University of Pennsylvania. In its decade-plus existence, the school has emerged as possibly the city's finest for its age group and has caused a clamor for home ownership within the boundaries of its catchment zone. It's estimated that $100,000 - $150,000 in value has been added to homes whose addresses qualify for attendance in the school.
On one hand, the lottery system and statistics ostensibly ensure that nearly every child applying for admission will be accepted, but what of the family that spends an extra $125,000 and then draws the short stick and is left out? Very few kids/families will be affected, but the uncertainty is a harsh reality for those who paid, or are considering paying a premium to buy into the Penn Alexander School catchment.
In Lower Merion, our home values are also buttressed by the desirability of the quality of public education available to residents. We are fortunate to be in a more stable and sustainable position than our University City neighbors. But the time could come when too much love for our schools could actually start to erode, rather than enhance Lower Merion's charmed relationship between home values and quality education.
Click Here to view Lower Merion School District's Info Page on Enrollment Plans