By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
It was saved from the wrecking ball two years ago, but this time parents and faculty at Whittier Elementary say it's unlikely their efforts to save the school will be successful. Still, they're not going down without a fight.
Monday night, about forty people filled the media center at Spalding Park Elementary to listen to the Sioux City schools presentation on closing the century-old school building.
The district says it stands to save more than three million dollars with the closure.
But, parents worry about sending their students to a larger school. They say the Whittier family won't be the same.
“I understand the needs, that the concerns of the budget are real, but I also feel like we have something special, unique at Whittier, something we're saving and why just not leave it alone until it needs to be dealt with,” said Whittier Parent, Andrea Ruiz.
Ruiz asked the Superintendent if they had the intention of combining the two schools when they decided to build Washington, because of it’s size. Dr. Paul Gausman replied that the district always builds new schools large enough to accommodate increased enrollment.
Kristi Nathaniel celebrated two years ago when the school board sided with Whittier parents.
Since then, the district has moved forward with a plan to build a new elementary in Morningside.
Under the proposed plan, a majority of student will attend the new Washington Elementary school.
The superintendent calls that a "game changer."
Nathaniel doesn't see it that way.
Still, she thinks the board's decision is a forgone conclusion.
"I do feel like it's a done deal. This is one time where I actually feel that we're just going through the motions, and that it's done. But, I hope not,” said Nathaniel.
Some Whittier parents demanded the school district change the name of Washington if the two schools are combined.
The superintendent says he plans to recommend the board form a naming committee if they approve the Whittier closure.
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