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Update on Property Acquisition

The Lower Merion School District is pleased to share that it has finalized an agreement to acquire the property at 1835 County Line Road in Villanova, formerly owned by Dr. John A. Bennett and Nance DiRocco. Along with the previously acquired property at 1800 W. Montgomery Avenue, this location will become the site of playing fields for the new middle school that is being built at 1860 Montgomery Ave. The District plans to use the mansion on the 1835 County Line Road site as a student art gallery or for other school purposes.

The property at 1835 County Line Road was acquired by agreement under the same terms that were approved by the Lower Merion Board of School Directors in December 2018. At that time, the Board approved and offered a payment up to $9.95 million for the property and a lease allowing Dr. Bennett, Ms. DiRocco and their family to stay on the property through May 2023.

Lower Merion School District is meeting the challenge of its rapidly growing student enrollment by building a new middle school for grades 5-8, which is set to open in September 2022. The fields will be completed after the school opens.

This new school will alleviate crowding at the six existing elementary school and two existing middle schools by moving fifth graders out of the elementary schools and distributing the middle school population among three schools instead of two. The new school also provides an exciting opportunity to reimagine student-driven learning, curriculum, facilities and staff collaboration opportunities for the 21st century in alignment with the District's strategic plan, "All Forward."

Drawings of the proposed site layout for fields can be found in the Resources and Documents section of the New Middle School/Enrollment Growth section on the Lower Merion School District website.

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