May 13, 2004

158 Acres For A High School?

"To ease overcrowding, the Souderton (Penn.) Area School District wants to buy 158 acres of farmland for a new high school," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

158 acres for a high school???

The story says many people have complained about siting a new school on that particular parcel, since it's a rural area and would likely bring a lot of congestion and traffic to a place that's still relatively undeveloped. The discussion pits suburban officials from high-growth communities dealing with overcrowded schools against "smart growth" advocates trying to combat sprawl.

The article doesn't explain why a high school would need 158 acres of land. But you can bet that no students will be walking there. In the report Why Johnny Can't Walk to School, there are sagas of even larger parcels for schools, such as 200 acres for a new school in Spartanburg, S.C. , that would generate an estimated 6,000 car and bus trips per day.

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