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SLIPPERY ROCK AREA JOINT SCHOOL SYSTEM v. FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT (06/28/57)

June 28, 1957

SLIPPERY ROCK AREA JOINT SCHOOL SYSTEM
v.
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 102, March T., 1957, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, June T., 1956, No. 104, in case of Slippery Rock Area Joint School System et al., v. Franklin Township School District. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Lee C. McCandless, for appellant.

George P. Kiester, with him Kiester, Coulter & Gilchrist, for appellees.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

[ 389 Pa. Page 437]

OPINION PER CURIAM

The additional arguments advanced on this appeal by the appellant are entirely lacking in merit. The judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County is affirmed on the following excerpts from the opinion of Judge RODGERS:

"This matter is before the Court on a Petition for a Declaratory Judgment filed by the Slippery Rock Area Joint School System and eleven of the twelve member districts of that System v. The Franklin Township School District, also a member of that System.

"The System comprises administrative Unit Number 1 of the Butler County Plan for joint schools as approved by the Butler County School Board and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction. The Articles of Agreement creating this System were entered into on December 1, 1952, and provide, in part, that the Agreement should continue in full force or effect until May 1, 1961.

"The legislative authority for the establishment of school systems is found in Section 1701 of the School Code, which provides that: 'The Board of School Directors in any two or more school districts may establish,

[ 389 Pa. Page 438]

    construct, equip, furnish and maintain joint elementary public schools, high schools, consolidated schools or any other kind of schools or departments provided for in this Act.' (24 PS § 17-1701). And Section 1704 which provides that: 'the several Boards of School Directors establishing and maintaining such joint schools or departments, are hereby authorized to meet jointly, to exercise the same power and authority over the same as the several Boards exercised over the schools in their respective districts.' 24 PS § 17-1704.

"In conformance with this Agreement and School Code, the joint school board proceeded with plans to build a new Junior-Senior High School building, at an estimated cost of $2,310,100, to the extent of purchasing a site for $20,000, engaging an architect to draw the plans, submitting an application for approval of the project to the Butler County Boards of School Districts, and the Commonwealth. The Butler County Board of School Directors approved the plan on November 12, 1953 and on March 15, 1954, the Commonwealth advised the System that the building project had been assigned a Project No. 650 by the Department of Public Instruction, and that final approval would be withheld until additional appropriations were made by the legislature. The defendant, through its Board, had voted favorably on each of these steps. Since reorganization of the defendant's Board, later in December, 1955, the defendant has declined to participate and cooperate with the System in this building program. They have requested that they be released from the System. This permission was denied by the vote of the remaining eleven Boards of the System.

"The petition for Declaratory Judgment prays the Court to answer two questions. First: To determine if said school board is obliged to participate and cooperate in the construction of the Junior-Senior school

[ 389 Pa. Page 439]

    building; Second: To determine the vote on which the Franklin Township School District is bound on matters relating to the construction and ...


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