Propel Hazelwood Set to Open It's Doors for Second Straight Year

While the fate of the longtime abandoned Gladstone Middle School remains up in the air, the Greater Hazelwood community’s other once abandoned school is ready to open its doors for a second straight year.

Burgwin Elementary School is now Propel Hazelwood.  It is the area’s tenth charter school Propel’s network, according to the charter school’s website.

The school was officially opened on September 14, 2014. Last year, Propel Hazelwood served students from kindergarten to 4th grade. This year, it will add a fifth grade class.

For nearly a decade, the fate of the school was unknown.   Built in 1937, Burgwin closed its doors in 2006. This left the Greater Hazelwood area without any school. Gladstone Middle School closed in 2001.

But in March, 2014, it was announced the district had found a buyer for the Burgwin building, the Hazelwood Initiative. The Hazelwood Initiative, who received money for the building from the Heinz Foundation, then helped establish the school.

Propel’s mission, according to its website, is to “the transformation of public education so that all children have access to high performing schools.”

All ten of Propel’s charter schools are in working-class, largely African American neighborhoods in the Pittsburgh area.

In an interview with Greater Hazelwood Matters, councilman Corey O’Connor said that the reopening of the school was a sign of Hazelwood’s redevelopment.