Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tribune Democrat: School Closure Hearing Delayed

GREENSBURG — A hearing scheduled today in the ongoing battle over a school near New Florence has been canceled.

The hearing – on the preliminary objections filed by Ligonier Valley School District in response to a lawsuit by a citizens group seeking to keep the school open – had been scheduled in Westmoreland County Court before Judge Gary P. Caruso. The citizens group, Save Our Rams Education, filed a lawsuit against the district in May.SORE is seeking an injunction to block the planned closure of Laurel Valley Middle-High School. The district plans to send those students to its other middle and high schools in Ligonier in the fall.

One of the objections the district had was that the lawsuit did not contain enough details, said district Solicitor Dennis Rafferty. The citizens group filed an amended complaint that contains more details, putting a halt to today’s hearing and causing the process to start over again, he said.

The school district believes the amended lawsuit still doesn’t contain enough details and expects to file another preliminary objection, Rafferty said. A hearing on the objections probably will be held in July, he said.Judge Gary P. Caruso has scheduled Aug. 2 and 3 as the dates for the hearing on the injunction request.