A Wednesday-night community forum to discuss the future of Sylvan Middle School drew a room full of concerned parents and residents, wanting to make their voice heard regarding proposals to move or rebuild the school.
The meeting was the latest step taken by the San Juan Unified School District to find a solution to address the 76-year-old school’s aging facilities. Following an overall “D-” grade from a DLR Group facility assessment commissioned by the San Juan Unified School District in 2013, consideration of closing the school was discussed, and a community brainstorming meeting was held on April 23, with five ideas being currently floated as potential solutions.
Ideas include fixing Sylvan Middle School, rebuilding it, moving it to new facilities at Mesa Verde High School, or moving it to the campus of either Carriage Drive Elementary or Citrus Heights Elementary. A detailed description of each idea can be viewed at the District’s website.
Cost estimates for the five proposed solutions run as high as $44 million to rebuild the school, while a move to either of the elementary schools would run about $17 million, according to District officials.
The District says its interest is “to select the most affordable option that meets current priorities and needs,” and considers community input to be “vital” in the selection process.
As long as enrollment is maintained, the District says it does not anticipate any teachers losing jobs under any of the proposed solutions, although a statement on the District’s website indicates a possibility for reduction in administrative and support staffing if a school site were closed.
Those unable to ask questions at Wednesday’s meeting are invited to submit feedback to the District via an online submission form.
A school board decision is expected in November, with first possible changes taking place as early as Fall 2015.
*Editor’s note: stay tuned for more details on Wednesday’s meeting.