Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, No. 13293 of 1964, in re condemnation by Area Vocational-Technical Board of Delaware County of Delaware County Vocational-Technical School in Marple Township.
Lewis B. Beatty, Jr. and J. P. McCord, with them Alan Miles Ruben, Deputy Attorney General, and Butler, Beatty, Greer & Johnson, for appellant.
Robert F. Jackson, for appellee.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts.
On August 14, 1963 the Legislature amended the Public School Code of 1949*fn1 to provide for the establishment of area vocational and technical institutes within the public school system of the Commonwealth. Pursuant to this amendment,*fn2 thirty-nine of the school
districts of Delaware County*fn3 entered into an agreement which created an Area Vocational-Technical Board out of the existing County Board of School Directors.*fn4 The agreement empowered the area board to undertake the establishment and operation of vocational-technical schools within the county.
The area board thereafter adopted a resolution condemning for school purposes some ten acres of land located in Marple Township, Delaware County, belonging to Bridget Gallagher.*fn5 A declaration of taking was filed on November 27, 1964, and notice thereof given to Mrs. Gallagher in compliance with the Eminent Domain Code.*fn6 Mrs. Gallagher filed preliminary objections to the declaration,*fn7 alleging, inter alia, that the
amendment authorizing the establishment of area vocational-technical schools violated the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
Upon consideration of the preliminary objections, the court held that the amendment which authorized the creation of the area board and endowed it with the power of eminent domain violated Article III, § 20 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.*fn8 The court therefore entered an order sustaining the objection of the property owner, and held the declaration of taking void and of no effect. This appeal by the area board followed.
On February 1, 1966, however, yet another amendment to the Public School Code of 1949, supra, was approved by the Governor.*fn9 The new amendment became effective immediately. This new amendment substantially revised and in part repealed the 1963 amendment which is the subject of this appeal. While we offer no opinion as to the effect of the latest amendment on the merits of the present appeal, we must take cognizance of the fact that the ...