Glenside-Weldon to Come Down

The Abington School Board votes to raze the former elementary school.


It's coming down.

The Abington School Board late Tuesday night approved a motion authorizing the demolition of the Glenside-Weldon Elementary School on Easton Road. The school had been replaced by the newer Copper Beech Elementary several years ago.

Many of the school board members said the decision to knock the building down did not come lightly. 

“We are doing the prudent thing — what’s in the best interest of the community,” School Board President Raymond McGarry said.

The school district will retain ownership of the property should it need to build a new elementary school on the site in the future. The school board will still need to solicit bid specifications for knocking the building down, those bids will have to be advertised and then awarded. Superintendent Amy Sichel said she expects the board to advertise for bids in August or September.

The board also approved the transfer of $2 million from the district’s committed general fund balance to its capital project fund to make the project happen.   

The building is costing the district about $250,000 annually to maintain, according to McGarry.

Click here to read about the feasibillity study about razing the building.

Prior to the vote, two people spoke out against knocking the building down. Resident John Monaghan said while Keswick Village is vibrant, the Glenside-Weldon building is a spot of “sullen nothingness.” He’s been pushing for the school district to sell the property so business may thrive in the area. He also said the school board has had very little outreach to the community during the process.

See a letter to the editor written by Monaghan in October 2012 regarding the school here.

Resident Ashley Spearman, who is also on the Abington Township Planning Committee, also asked the board to grant the school a stay of execution.  

“The neighbors are just catching up with the idea that you’re going to knock it down,” he said.

Several school board members, including Adam Share, said the district has spent a significant amount of time and money looking into the viability of keeping the building.

“Professionals say [Glenside-Weldon] is run down — nobody wants it,” Share said. “I don’t see any downside to demolishing the building. To have this building there, a building that professionals said wasn’t commercially viable, doesn’t make any sense.”

Barbara Berger June 18, 2013 at 11:21 PM
So many of you have such fond memories of years growing up at GW school. Instead of just reminising about it, make the time to get to the meeting and voice those opinions/ ideas/solutions there. Let them know that you care. People in numbers helps make the difference!!!!
Kim Millar June 19, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Lloyd, no disrespect but you don't have to go 10 miles away to Whitpain Township to see some 200 year old & older residences. We have them right here in our own township! If everyone thought like you about this building not meaning much because it's only a little over 100 years old, then how will we ever get anything to be at that 200 year mark if we just let them be knocked down? All historical buildings no mater who they belong to require work, and sometimes a lot of it. Do you remember when they wanted to knocked the Keswick Theatre down? Look how the Glenside people fought for that building to stay. Us old timers who stayed in our beloved Glenside fight for our area to preserve it's history, and G-W is very much a part of our history!
Angie Mason-Hogsten July 17, 2013 at 11:14 PM
I went to Glenside-Weldon from 7th to 8th grade and LOVED those 2years of Junior High coming after the Golden Years at North Hills Elementary. It was the perfect transition from Elementary to High School. I will miss you Glenside Weldon and do hope that they will allow us the opportunity to "walk-the-hall" one last time before demolition. xox
John Briley January 21, 2014 at 09:16 AM
I am very disappointed with the Abington School board, not just for this decision as a whole but also because as recently as November 2013 they claimed to be looking into preserving parts of the original buildings and/or the facade as was reported on 11/15/14 (google it). However, following this November announcement the board never provided any specific info on these new assessments or findings, and the final board meeting prior to this vote was canceled due to inclement weather thereby nullifying any opportunity for opposition or follow-up questions. Subsequently, I attended January 14th meeting and appealed to the board to vote to table this issue for one month - not only to share their official (new) findings on their recent assessment and allow adequate time for the community to review and respond, but also to make up for the crucial board meeting that was cancelled on 12/10/13. My request was disregarded, and no new info or specific findings were presented from their post-November assessment. So are we to believe that the district couldn't wait just one more month to provide these facts and allow a fair opportunity to the community in the wake of the cancelled December meeting? This decision - and the way in which it was achieved - is going to leave a negative impression on the people of Glenside for a long time. And it will not disappear along with the buildings....
Franny Kash April 24, 2014 at 03:05 PM
I spent k-3rd grade at glenside Weldon then we had to move to copper beach none of us wanted to glenside Weldon was one of a kind it's the oldest school in Abington history it's hurting me so much that it's getting knocked down so many great memories that will last a lifetime in that school from attending there & also from pal held by the police unit i will never forget this school i can't believe it's gonna go i will surely missed this school I just want u know I was one of the 1000 ppl that wants this school to stay


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