Thursday evening Franklin Elementary School parents made it very clear they were unhappy with the Elk Grove Schools District lack of progress on replacing the aging elementary school.
Speaking on behalf of the EGUSD was Robert Pierce, Deputy Superintendent, Business Services and Facilities. Pierce was under fire most of the meeting, that lasted around one hour. Pierce presented a slide show, updating parents on the process. The district has decided to build a new school a little farther north in a newer subdivision, near Dorcey Drive and Gilliam Way. Pierce said that trying to update the 60 year old school was not feasible. He said the school is on a well and septic. He also stressed that the nearby infrastructure will not be improved. The location of the new school has infrastructure in place, as well as public water and sewer.
He also took questions from parents. The biggest question was when will the school be built. Pierce repeated multiple times that there is not a time line on when the school would open. Pierce said that the funds from Prop 51, that was passed in November 2016, are not being released in the same manner as previous school bonds due to Governor Brown not releasing him. He expressed hope that under the next Governor money will be released sooner. He said at the current rate of release of the funds, the school would be open in 2023. He stressed that was a worst case scenario under the current bond release rate. Parents wanted to know if the school was a priority and Pierce repeated that it was, but when pressed by parents to rank the school on the priority list, Pierce said he was unable to do so.
Parents that live near the proposed location of the new Franklin school said they were told 14 years ago a school was coming in that area. Other parents talked about the unsafe conditions at the school, including a lack of a crosswalk on Franklin Blvd, no sidewalks or bike lanes. Two teachers spoke about the unhealthy conditions in the classrooms that included mice and mice feces. Also pool air quality that one teacher said has given her pneumonia twice this year. Several parents suggested going to a future school board meeting to air their grievances with the board.