Clark County school board decides to build

Karen Gray

The Clark County school board got something right last Thursday – it voted to relocate and build Triggs Elementary for the 2009-10 school year. That will certainly come as a relief to the 500 or so students sitting in 50 portables at Ward and Goynes elementary schools.

However, along with the much-needed Triggs and Wallin elementary schools, the school board also voted to move forward with plans to open Duncan and Stuckey Elementary – two schools whose necessity has been questioned. CCSD plans call for Duncan to be built in an area where every surrounding school currently has a 7 percent vacancy rate at least. Some of those schools are even slated to go to nine-month schedules next year without Duncan. Stuckey also would be built in proximity to almost 575 brand-new vacant seats.

However, despite the vote to “move forward,” neither Duncan nor Stuckey is set in stone yet. In a move quite out of character and a departure from its normal behavior, the school board has decided to wait until the July 1, 9 a.m. work session to finalize the actual decision on the $120 million plan.

Why the board chose to finalize this particular business item in a work session was not explained. Hopefully, the board weighed the possible disenfranchisements to parents and the public here before moving this decision from an evening meeting to a morning work-day session.

Note: In a memo to board members, Paul Gerner, the associate superintendent for district facilities, placed the district’s student overage at 800. However, CCSD official enrollment data – augmented to personal phone calls to every school in the area – say that the real number is closer to 500.