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The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Mid-December Recap on Reimagined North Penn High School

MJ Tareq
ON TOUR: North Penn’s Mr. Pete Nicholson guides a group of community members on a tour of NPHS on December 12 2023.

The North Penn School District has been in discussion about NPHS renovations and a voter referendum over the past several months. The Knight Crier will publish monthly installments on any update regarding renovation planning and a referendum. Here is our mid-December installment, covering any concerns with the referendum and a Q&A. 


Being Involved in the Renovation Conversation + Referendum

To the people of North Penn School District, students, parents, and taxpayers alike, we are officially one month away from the voter referendum. Per a message from Superintendent Dr. Todd Bauer, the official ballot question on January 16th will be:


“Shall debt in the sum of $97,318,376 dollars for the purpose of financing new construction that includes space for ninth-grade students to be educated on campus and renovations of North Penn High School be authorized to be incurred as debt approved by the electors?” 


In layman’s terms, the district is asking taxpayers whether or not they approve of a tax raise starting at a $160 annual increase over the next 32 years, purposed to expand and reimagine North Penn High School and to bring ninth-grade students to the high school.

Voters must be state registered voters by January 1, 2024. For more information regarding requirements or voting, visit 

The decisions the taxpayers will make shortly will have a generational impact. 

“While there are many questions and decision points in the future, it all begins with this vote on January 16. While any renovation plans for NPHS will provide for ADA accessibility, strengthened security measures, and upgraded systems, determining whether or not 9th grade will move to NPHS is at the crux of the decision,” Pete Nicholson, the NPHS Administrator of Secondary Education and  Renovations said. “Keeping in mind that moving 9th grade can dramatically reduce the size and scope of future renovation expenses for the district, it’s really about whether 9th graders would be better served being with their 10-12th grade peers like so many other high schools.”

MJ Tareq

On Tuesday, December 5th, North Penn hosted fifteen-minute tours beginning at 5:30 and a community forum which started at 7 p.m. This tour and forum allowed members of the community to see the diminishing infrastructure at the high school that so crucially needs renovation, and it also reserved time for members to provide comments or ask any questions they had about the renovation plans or the voter referendum. 

“The turnout, between those who were in-person at NPHS and those who tuned in and asked questions from home, was great,” Nicholson stated. “This is a huge decision for the entire North Penn community and I’m excited that so many folks are engaging in the process and becoming as educated as possible on the plans for NPHS.”

For more information on the community forum, check out Associate Editor Riley Roach’s article, North Penn holds community forum on renovations and referendum. 

This won’t be the last opportunity for members of the community to become more involved in the renovation conversation. There have been tours of the high school every other Tuesday since September and there is another tour available: Tuesday, January 9th, at 6 p.m. at North Penn High School. 


Some Q&A

This idea of a reimagined North Penn High School influences so many different aspects of our community. Finances, education, job opportunities, and even real-estate value are among those issues at play. Below are some frequently asked questions by the community and responses from Mr. Pete Nicholson. 



Why do we need to bring ninth grade up to the high school? What do they get out of it? 


98% of high schools nationwide host grades 9-12, North Penn unfortunately is in the 2%. “Not being on campus at NPHS impacts how and what 9th graders can be involved in during their first year of what is defined as high school; 9th-12th grades. Whether it’s for accelerated course work, specialized programs like our Engineering Academy or JROTC, or extracurricular activities like marching band or athletics, 9th graders aren’t really part of the high school community like in other districts,” Nicholson said. “Bringing 9th graders to the NPHS campus would allow all of our 9th-12th graders to have a similar experience to what 98% of their high school peers do around the nation. It would prepare them better academically, socially, and from a career preparation standpoint. 



What exactly would a reimagined high school look like?


“A yes vote would allow for the high school infrastructure, including the many pinch-points currently inside the hallways at NPHS, to be reimagined, allowing for a better all-around student experience,” Nicholson said. “Moving the cafeteria out of the back of the building and into a Commons that’s connected to the arts and athletics portions of the building will allow for more and better use of our facilities after school hours and updated indoor and outdoor arts and athletics spaces will open the possibilities for more community use of our facility.” For an actual visual representation of a reimagined high school, refer to NPTV’s The NPHS Renovation Journey video.



How do taxpayers benefit from these renovations if they don’t have a kid who would see a reimagined NPHS?


“Regardless of whether a taxpayer has a student who will attend NPHS after a renovation, there are definitely benefits to the community with the reimagined NPHS plan,” Nicholson stated. “Not only will the many community programs that use our facility benefit from the renovation but we’ve also reviewed and shared recent research out of Yale University that suggests that a yes vote such as this could potentially lead to a 7% increase in property value in the 5-8 years after the election.”


In The People’s Hands

It is paramount that members of the community engage in the renovation conversation, this decision of a reimagined NPHS is truly in the hands of the people. Whether it is a yes vote or a no vote, your voice is important and contributes to us as a North Penn community advancing as a whole unit. For any additional questions or concerns, please refer to The Knight Crier’s prior monthly installments or my Teacher Talk on a Reimagined North Penn High School article.  

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  • S

    Steven C GuyJan 12, 2024 at 5:12 pm

    I have been a state certified residential real estate appraiser for over 30 years. The assumption that this will increase property value by 7% is speculative at best. However, increased taxes for 32 years is cumbersome. I have supported the North Penn School District for 37 years while having no child in the system. I heartily support giving our children the best education available. I am not sure if this means changing from a 10th thru 12th to a 9th thru 12th system. I graduated from high school in Florida that was 10th thru 12th grades. It worked fine.