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Newtown Updates: Wyola School, Paper Mill Road

Newtown Township Board of Supervisors provided an update on the status of sale for Wyola School and the next steps for the Paper Mill Road issue at a meeting on April 23.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–The Board of Supervisors provided an update on the status of the at Monday night's meeting. At the last meeting earlier this month, the supervisors approved to authorize petition of sale of the Wyola School, free of any use limitations.

According to Township Solicitor Rich Sokorai, the township had notified the Attorney General and now must file the petition with the Orphans' Court division.

Township Manager Mike Trio previously stated the sale of the old Newtown Public School No. 1, or more commonly known as the Wyola School would bring additional revenue back to the township.

The historic school building dates back to 1870s and is located on North Newtown Street Road/Rt. 252, just south of Goshen Road. One resident recently submitted a .

Supervisors Encourage Paper Mill Road Residents to Elect Leader

According to Sokorai, the had retracted their previous letter–which had stated that they were closing the old, defunct road to the public and keeping it private–in an effort to cooperate with the township and residents.

Moving forward, Sokorai said they are exploring the idea of the residents along Paper Mill Road to appoint a leader, or "someone who they trust to be the front person to see if there’s any way to see if there’s a compromise that could be made and at least explore that."

Although there are no documents that have been discovered stating that the path from Paper Mill Road to Radnor Township was made private or public, the township has been maintaining a portion of that path for years.

"It’s been maintained, plowed and cleared by the township for 50 years [halfway through the property] but it's been shown on maps going back 100 years. I don’t see where there’s a settlement that’s necessary," said Supervisors Vice Chairman Dr. Ross Lambert. "In my opinion, it's a township road and that's the end of it. That's my opinion. If the homeowner wants to challenge it in court, he can."

However, Supervisors Chairman Joseph Catania said the issue is a little bit more complicated than that.

"The problem is, if it were that simple then I'd agree with you," responded Catania to Lambert. "My understanding is that there are issues that deal with of what types of maintenance was taken in the past that could make the issue go to one side or the other. So, from what my understanding is, just because it’s on a map–and I'm not trying to say too much–is not the end of it."

According to Catania, some of that road is improved, some of it is gravel, and some of it is grass.

The road is measured to be approximately 400-500 feet leading to Radnor. "Somewhere in the middle of the property, it goes from a paved road that the township has been maintaining to...and unimproved portion of the road that then proceeds to Radnor Township."

Catania shared he didn't want to say too much about the legal issues of the roadway because it could "jeopardize the outcome of what we all want up here."

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