South Philadelphia: School Faces Possible Closure]

By next year, four brand new smart classrooms and a science room at George W. Nebinger School could be empty along with a freshly done library. As part of a planned new playground, newly laid grass could go on to be untouched by Nebinger students.

Today, the School District of Philadelphia will release a draft list of possible school closings. Last year, Nebinger was on the list.

But Dr. Ralph Burnley, the principal at Nebinger, said the shuffling of administrative positions within the school district stalled a final decision. With a new interim superintendent, Leroy Nunnery, and fresh School Reform Commission, Nebinger’s fate is up in the air.

“Right now there have been a number of alternatives discussed,” Burnley said in reference to students being sent to the nearby George Washington School at Fifth Street and Washington Avenue. “There are also implications for Meredith [School]. The district was out to talk to parents on back-to-school night. Right now, nothing’s been decided.”

Burnley noted there is also state pressure on the school district, which was only one of the districts across the state that lost money in this year’s state budget.

“If they decide to close the building, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Burnley said. “There are a lot of upgrades taking place in this building right now that will probably be completed in the spring. One would think, ‘Why close the building if you made all these humungous upgrades?’”

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