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Parents In Tug Of War Over New Elementary School Location

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – During a school board meeting on Monday night, the Richardson Independent School District could take a big step forward on fixing an overcrowding problem at a local campus.

The problem is at White Rock Elementary School — where enrollment has shot up by more than 50 students this fall.

As it stands, there are some 930 students attending the school this year. Last year, with 877 enrolled, students were being reassigned.

The Richardson ISD wants to lessen the swell by building a new $29 million school near Walnut Hill Lane and White Rock Trail. The district has already purchased the land. But the build would have the school at a very busy intersection that’s close to a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) line.

Adults seem to be split on their feelings about the new K-6 school. One parent group is so concerned about the proposal that they’ve put up signs spelling out their contempt. Rahul Yodh is one of those parents against the location. He said, “We want the school to be built. We just don’t agree with the location.”

Another group of parents firmly supports any effort to ease crowding. Nathan Jacks, who supports the school, said, “It’s the available solution to the overcrowding. We’re opposed to the attempts or possible attempts to delay in the construction of the school and resolving the overcrowding that’s taking place.”

“When your kiddos are being overflowed and they can’t attend their home campuses, something’s needed,” said White Rock Elementary School principal Lee Walker. “So, we’re headed in the right direction.”

The Richardson school board meets at 6:00 p.m. on Monday night to talk about the new school’s design and construction, and begin initial talks regarding the attendance boundaries. That should give parents a better idea of the new school’s enrollment numbers. The district is hoping to have the new campus built and operating by 2018.

Richardson ISD communications director Tim Clark stated that the new school will be safe, with plenty of room for parents to drop off children and roughly 250 parking spaces. “I don’t think there’s any question that a new school is needed and this was, in the judgment of the district, the best site available,” Clark explained.

Other schools will not be impacted by this construction. The new campus will only cut into those students currently attending White Rock Elementary School.

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