Despite public comments supporting the reopening of Reynolds Elementary School, the Oceanside Unified School District board voted to close the school during a special board meeting Monday night.
The Oceanside School Board voted 3-1 to close Reynolds at the end of this school year.
Board member Eleanor Evans abstained, while trustee Nancy Licona voted against the closure.
Before the decision was made, the Cesar Chavez High School auditorium had gathered more than 200 people.
“As you can see and feel, there is a lot of passion and heart in this room. And that reflects our community at Reynolds. There is so much heart and passion in our school and our students,” one parent said during a public comment. .
Another parent told the board, “Now we stand before you knowing that you have a choice to make and take full control of our children, our amazing teachers and incredible staff who make Reynolds our second home.”
The closure came after engineers planning to renovate the school discovered that the ground was liquefying. During an earthquake, the jolt of traffic could cause buildings to sink.
The news came as a blow to parents who were delighted with the renovation of the school.
Some parents asked for more time to review the 176-page report released Friday night.
“Wrong, if you release a full geotechnical report one or two days before this meeting for independent verification, it is wrong. There are independent scientists in this community who would like to review every last piece of this report,” said one speaker.
A spokesman for the Oceanside Human Rights Council spoke about access to the report by Hispanic families. “Your report is not even in Spanish and is not available to the community. I asked for it when I arrived. You understand?” she asked the board members. “When I got in I asked for the report and they told me they didn’t know where I could access it. This is unacceptable”.
The engineers have presented mitigation options, but any mitigation still requires all students to move off campus for three to four years.
Board President Raquel Alvarez said the decision for her came down to safety.
“I don’t want to worry about a student getting hurt because he fell into a hole… or the building moves enough that he trips and hits his head or something,” she said.
After the meeting, Reynolds’ parent Ashley Gerdo said: “We weren’t here tonight to ask for a remodel or no remodel. We asked for more time. The decision to accommodate 566 children in a couple of months is not enough time for us. for interviewing our children, for us to get our mental health in order, for us to get our transportation in order, it’s not enough.”
Another special board meeting will be held on March 23 to discuss the staff and student relocation plan.