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Repairs Eyed for Keith Valley Middle School

Hatboro-Horsham is undertaking renovations to keep the aging Keith Valley Middle School ‘more functionally sound’ as the district awaits transfer of the former Willow Grove air base.

As Hatboro-Horsham School District plays the “waiting game” for federal government land earmarked for a new middle school, officials are looking to make upgrades to Keith Valley Middle School.

The plan, according to Bob Reichert, the district’s director of business affairs, is to make the middle school “more functionally sound for the next few years” by upgrading its HVAC, plumbing, replacing windows and recent repairs to its electrical services.

The system is now “pretty functionally sound,” Reichert said. “There’s not a huge risk of system failure.”

Unlike the projected May or June transfer of the government property that houses the former Horsham Memorial Army Reserve Center - the future home of a new Hallowell Elementary School - a transfer date has not been established for the 862 acres eyed for redevelopment at the Willow Grove air base. The property, which has no water or sewer and is lacking internal roads and infrastructure, likely will not be available for redevelopment for at least several years, possibly longer, officials have said.

“It’s a waiting game,” Hatboro-Horsham School District Superintendent Curtis Griffin told the school board during this week’s meeting. “I doubt that there’s going to be any decision this year.”

The Horsham Land Reuse Authority – the entity tasked with developing and locally approving a redevelopment plan for the air base – . In federal hands since April, the plan now awaits approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the portion of the development earmarked for homeless housing. Meanwhile, that is expected to continue for at least another year.

With so many unknowns at play, Griffin said the goal is to maintain Keith Valley Middle School and “make sure it’s safe, secure and electrical is up to code."

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