In surprise move, G.A.R. included in WBASD consolidation plan

There will soon be just one high school in Wilkes-Barre Area School District.

In a surprise move Tuesday night, board members have decided to include G.A.R. as part of the consolidation plan.

That surprise came in a 6-3 vote last night.

However, people who live near G.A.R. and have a long history with the school have mixed emotions about the decision.

"I felt really sorry for the kids from G.A.R. They should have been included right from the start,” Frank Udiski said.

A plan to build a new high school on land in Plains Township was criticized earlier this year.

Some believed it left students from G.A.R. at an unfair disadvantage, since the new school would offer new technology.

"I believe it includes everyone now. And all we wanted as an organization was for everyone in the community, of the children in the community, to have the same opportunities. We were able to achieve the goal of equality for all students,” Guerline Laurore, NAACP President of the Wilkes-Barre chapter, said.

Several others we spoke to around the school, including one former G.A.R. student, agree the kids were being left behind.

"With the new school, there would be new technology and everything else and the G-A-R would be the same as it always has been,” Steven Udiski said.

But not everyone agrees.

Some neighbors we spoke to are against the consolidation and prefer neighborhood schools instead.

While others, like Frank Udiski, say the older kids get into too many fights and he’ll be glad to see them go.

"I'm tired of calling 911 and having them to send the cops up here almost every day. There isn't a day that goes by without friction up there. Maybe now that it's going to be a middle school, things might simmer down quite a bit,” Udiski said.

The whole plan is expected to be completed by the 2022 school year.

The new school is expected to cost more than $100 million dollars.

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