The Tredyffrin/Easttown Board of School Directors has scheduled a special meeting for November 14, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Tredyffrin/Easttown Administration Offices (TEAO) to consider a vote to exercise its right of eminent domain on the Doyle-McDonnell nursery adjacent to Conestoga High School. This property, located at 250 Cassatt Road, is under agreement of sale with Toll Brothers to develop a high-density residential property of up to 85 units. Due to the adjacency of the 13-acre parcel to Conestoga High School, the District has held long-term interest in purchasing the property for a fair price. However, as long as the property has served as a functioning tree nursery, the District has been willing to wait to secure acquisition. Because the property is subject to an agreement of sale with a third party, the District is forced to consider the use of eminent domain as a measure of last resort.

Student enrollment in the T/E School District has risen every single year since 1990, with a near 10% growth rate for the past five years alone. This has led to building construction projects inside District schools and even significant expansion projects such as the current plan for Conestoga High School. Because the high school is situated in a neighborhood with many nearby homes, there is no other property suitable for additional facilities or athletic fields near Conestoga that can be accessed without crossing public roads.

T/E residents and families should note that the potential acquisition of the nursery property by the District through eminent domain is not related to the longstanding plan to expand and renovate Conestoga High School and its parking capacity. The current expansion and renovation plan must keep to its current timeline to provide adequate space for the students currently enrolled in the District’s two middle schools. It should be noted that the District began evaluating the possible options for addressing the increasing enrollment over two years ago. Over twenty public meetings, including an open house, to gather community input on the project were held prior to Board approval. By contrast, the purchase and analysis of any new property, including the Doyle-McDonnell nursery, can take considerable time. The acquisition of this property, however, will ultimately provide options to meet future District needs.