ARGYLE — Local residentsvoiced concerns about transportation and the lack of sidewalks around a newelementary school being built in the Lantana area.
More than 60 people attendeda meeting Tuesday on the Denton school district’s proposed 2014-15 elementaryattendance boundaries, and most said they would be impacted by the proposedchanges resulting from the construction of the school.
Known as Elementary SchoolNo. 22, it is expected to open in August with about 300 students — rezoned fromthe Blanton and E.P. Rayzor elementary school attendance boundaries — at alocation north of FM407 and west of Copper Canyon Road in the Fairlinneighborhood of Lantana, district officials have said.
The proposed changes wouldimpact students now attending Blanton, E.P. Rayzor, Hawk, McNair and PecanCreek elementary schools.
The concern addressed byseveral residents Tuesday was the lack of sidewalks on Copper Canyon Roadleading to the new school, lack of continuous walk paths to the school and bustransportation not being provided to children who live fewer than two milesfrom the school. Copper Canyon Road is a two-lane road with no sidewalks thathas a speed limit of 40 mph.
Shannon O’Brien, who has akindergartner attending E.P. Rayzor, said she lives a short walking distancefrom the campus. Under the proposed attendance boundaries, her child would berezoned to the new school and the walking distance is about a mile, she said.
Shari Friedman, who also hasa kindergartner at E.P. Rayzor who could be rezoned to the new school, said thedistance from her home in the Kindle neighborhood to the new school is about2.5 miles. She said that while she drives her daughter to school, the Lantanaarea “boasts and advertises” that individuals can safely walk to all areaelementary schools.
“There are parents that lettheir kids walk ... but they won’t be able to do that anymore,” Friedman said.
Also of concern to Friedmanis a gun range near the new school site, an apparent reference to a nearbyprivate indoor gun range.
“That’s really upsetting,”she said.
Robert Bostic, assistantsuperintendent for academic programs who made the proposed boundarypresentation Tuesday, shared with attendees that while the district willprovide sidewalks around the school property, paths to and from the school willbe the responsibility of the developer or town.
Aaron Robbins, the district’stransportation director, told parents that the district doesn’t have theresources to expand bus service to students living fewer than two miles fromtheir designated school. The state funding structure has been in place sincethe 1980s, he said, and only covers about 25 percent of the district’s currentfunding for transportation.
Some parents were pleased bythe proposed changes. Parent Andrea Buckley said her daughter will be enteringfirst grade next year and it’s being proposed that she would be be rezoned fromBlanton Elementary to E.P. Rayzor Elementary. The change will be closer tohome, said Buckley, who currently drives her daughter to school.
“We can actually walk or ridethe bikes,” she said. “That’s why I’m excited about it.”
Some other concerns addressedby parents Tuesday included whether crossing guards would be provided for thenew school; staffing and administrative staff for the school; what directionthe school will face; what roads connect to the school; and howspecial-education students will be impacted by the proposed attendanceboundaries.
“I love the fact that theylove their schools, and I think that is where some of the concern comes from,that they love their schools and have built great relationships there,” Bosticsaid. “I appreciate their concerns and questions about sidewalks andtransportation.”
The proposed boundaries areset for discussion at a school board workshop slated for 6 p.m. Jan. 21. Boardmembers will receive a copy of questions and comments submitted by residentsfor consideration.
The board could consideraction on the proposed attendance boundaries as early as February, according todistrict officials.
District officials say avideo will be posted soon on the district website outlining points discussed atthe two public meetings. Residents also have an opportunity to submit commentsand questions online. For more information, visit www.dentonisd.org/rezoning.
BRITNEY TABOR can bereached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.
The Denton school district’sproposed elementary attendance boundaries for the 2014-15 school year include:
• Elementary School No. 22:The proposed boundary includes the Sierra, Telea, Laviana, Gaillardia, Fairlin,Reata, Palmetto, Meridian, Crescent and Kendall neighborhoods in the Lantanadevelopment. The boundary also would include portions of Bartonville, DoubleOak and Copper Canyon, the Canyon Oaks area and areas south, west and north ofFM407 and east and west of Copper Canyon Road.
• E.P. Rayzor: The boundarywould include Lantana’s Carlisle, Wimberly, Camden, Brazos, Sonora, Wisteria,Navarro, Magnolia and Bel Air neighborhoods.
• McNair: Students living inthe Hickory Creek neighborhood bordering Bluebonnet and Redbud streets, who arecurrently at Blanton, will be rezoned to McNair. According to districtofficials, about 100 students will be rezoned to McNair Elementary.
• Blanton: The zone willremain the same with the exception of those students proposed to be rezoned tothe new elementary school or E.P. Rayzor.
• Hawk: Students currentlyliving in the Oakmont area west of Interstate 35 who attend Pecan CreekElementary are proposed to be rezoned to Hawk Elementary School.
On the Web: www.dentonisd.org/Page/57199