NPSD goes shopping: All schools moving into Montgomery Mall property in 2020


The NPHS feature wall looks kind of small in its new home. Pictured here is a small glimpse of a big endeavor.

NORTH WALES, PA- It started with a whisper. The whisper turned into the unveiling of plans to bring ninth grade to the North Penn High School property at 1340 Valley Forge Rd. But, it has never been North Penn’s style to do the minimum, and superintendent Dr. Curt Dietrich has decided a ninth grade center is small potatoes.

“Sure, we could bring ninth grade to the high school, but then what. We might as well tackle the 70 year plan here to save future generations all this angst,” Dietrich said. So we have decided to re-evaluate the entire district.”

And just like that, plans have begun to move forward to house all 13 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, NPHS, and the ESC on the property currently occupied by Montgomery Mall.

“Back in the 80s when I was wearing my jean jacket and parachute pants, rolling up to the mall in my Trans-Am on Friday nights, I would have never imagined that my Friday night hangout would turn into my kids’ Friday afternoon classroom, pondered NPHS teacher Dwight Homan.

NPSD has reportedly purchased the property for an undisclosed sum, but part of the deal to keep the cost down is that Montgomery Mall will assume the deed to the properties that are currently NPHS, Penndale, Pennbrook, and Pennfield. With an increasingly monopolistic shift to Amazon as the great shopping hub, Mall officials plan to transform these properties into more boutique style shops, restaurants, and most likely very high-density townhomes.

Meanwhile, the mall department stores will be able to house hundreds of classrooms, while individual retail stores will become offices, group study areas, more classrooms, STEM academies, safe places, meditation tents, new libraries, napping areas, and some of the new AP Kindergarten centers for the exceptionally advanced. Wegman’s, much to the chagrin of Weis Markets will move to the current NPHS property, and the current Wegmans will become a state of the art athletic training facility which will include a sprawling indoor fieldhouse, new locker rooms, strength training hub, and a 10,000 seat competition arena.

“Ath-a-letics are a central part of the school experience and we are thrilled with these plans, “said NPHS Ath-a-letics directors Bill Bartle.

District officials are also excited to announce that the parking lot areas on the mall property will be converted into an expansive, state of the art athletics complex for all middle school and high school athletic programs and phys-ed classes.

A hand full or stores will actually remain in operation in the mall as part of a blended learning initiative whereby some stores will blend in with the school structure. Dick’s will stay operational but shift to selling only North Penn related sports gear, in an attempt to help NPSD build its brand. The AT&T store will remain open to ensure all students have fully functional cell phones at all times during the school day. The Sunglass Hut will continue operations because the future at NP is so bright, people will need to wear shades.  Blue Monkey Vapes will, however, cease operation immediately.

The new NPSD conglomerate of schools will still open its doors for mall walkers on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7am-10am.

“It is going to be so great having all of our students on the same property. The possibilities with this new academic mecca are endless. Air conditioning, open spaces, escalators, elevators, oh my!” Dietrich stated.

The transformation of these properties is being fast-tracked and has an expected completion date of August, 2020.