Cumberland Valley School District moves to withdraw its McCormick Farm bid

Cumberland Valley School District will be used as one of Republican nominee Donald Trump's campaign stops. Photo credit: Jennifer Ready

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa.– The Cumberland Valley School District has moved to withdraw its bid to acquire McCormick Farm as a part of planned expansion for the school.

The school district released the following press release:

In light of the passage of House Bill 2468, which was signed into law on June 24, 2018, by Gov. Tom Wolf as Act 45, the Cumberland Valley School District will be filing a petition with the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas seeking termination of its Declaration of Taking, which was filed March 6, 2018, to acquire the Lee Property.
By way of background, Act 45 amends the Eminent Domain Code to require entities with the power of Eminent Domain to first obtain court approval prior to filing a Declaration of Taking against land subject to either a private or public conservation easement. Act 45 is retroactive to Declarations of Taking filed after December 31, 2017.
While the District questions the constitutionality of the provision of Act 45 regarding retroactivity, litigating this issue would result in protracted timelines and increased costs, which will not help in alleviating our three- to five-year enrollment needs. To that end, the Board of School Directors acknowledges its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers and recognizes that seeking termination of the condemnation proceedings is the most prudent course of action.
The Cumberland Valley School District is located in the fastest growing county and contains one of the fastest growing townships in the Commonwealth. As a result, the District continues to experience unprecedented growth in enrollment. The District is committed to reviewing its facilities needs in light of this growing enrollment, which includes but are not limited to, evaluation of existing buildings and District-owned land, and the potential acquisition of additional land to meet the current and future educational needs of our students. This will be done while keeping in mind our fiduciary responsibility to all taxpayers in the District.
The Cumberland Valley School District will continue to work with all stakeholders – including local, county, and state officials and residents of the District – toward a common goal to develop our schools and our campuses as places where families and residents of all ages can come together to learn, play, and develop a strong sense of community.