School board may vote to close Dry Creek School tonight

Staff recommends making Creekview Ranch Middle School into a kindergarten through eighth-grade elementary school

The Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District board may vote tonight to close the oldest school in its district and to make its newest middle school into a kindergarten through eighth-grade elementary.

Potentially impacting other middle school boundaries in the district and saving the district money, district staff are expected to recommend the board close Dry Creek Elementary School and make Creekview Ranch Middle School a K-8. 

“We are waiting for the board tonight to give us direction on which way to go,” said Mark Geyer, district superintendent. 

The meeting is the fourth of four board workshops to discuss the future of the district's faclities, mainly the aging Dry Creek Elementary School. 

Closing Dry Creek Elementary would save the district an estimated, $225,000 a year, Geyer said. Repairs at the school, also including an inadequate kitchen and septic system, could total up to between $15 and $20 million, he said. 

A lower enrollment at Dry Creek, would make many needed improvements unnecessary, including nearby road improvements, Geyer explained. There are currently 475 students attending the elementary school. 

In contrast, converting Creekview could cost between $450,000 to $500,000 overall. 

If the board agrees with the staff's recommendation, enrollments at Silverado Middle School and Antelope Crossing Middle School are expected to increase.

All students from Coyote Ridge will then attend Silverado, rather than about half that currently move on to Creekview. And Antelope's Barrett Ranch Elementary School students will attend Antelope Crossing Middle School.

However, still on the table, are five options to deal with the delapitating conditions of the elementary school.

Among the other options, is to reduce enrollment at Dry Creek Elementary to 200 students and divide the other students between Heritage Oak and Olive Grove elementary schools.

Although he wouldn't say specifically if enrollment at the Heritage Oak or Olive Grove elementaries, in Antelope, was high or low, Geyer added there would be room to add more students.

“Generally speaking, should the board decide to do so, there is sufficient space at our other elementary schools to absorb the Dry Creek students," Geyer said. "But a significant portion of their portable classrooms would require significant improvements.” 

The estimated cost to renovate individual portables is $60,000, he said. New ones can cost up to $90,000. According to the district's facilities planning workshop presentation, being given tonight, there are eight portables at Heritage Oak that are between 20 and 24 years old. And two at Olive Grove between 15 and 19 years old. 

Another potential option, but unlikely doable in today's housing market, would be to build the proposed Morgan Creek Elementary School. If approved, the school would be constructed on the western most end of Vineyard Road. 

But according to Geyer the area is not built out enough and the bond funds needed to build it are currently undervalued in today's housing market. "We really don't have sufficient enrollment to build it right now," he said. "We would have to wait for growth in Placer County."

With current market values, the district would get a significantly lesser amount from the state. Slated to receive $30 per $100,000 in assessed housing property value. 

Dry Creek Elementary has a rich history. Sandwiched between Roseville and Antelope, the rural school was built as a one room schoolhouse in 1876. Nearby, Creekview Ranch Middle School opened in the fall of 2008. 

According to Geyer, adjacent portable Dry Creek school district offices would relocate to the Dry Creek Elementary school site if it is closed. 

Robert February 22, 2013 at 01:14 AM
The article states that Silverado and Antelope Crossing will get added students. Doesn't Creekview Ranch already get the overflow from these two schools. So why is Creekview Ranch already getting overflow students now. When these other two schools could have taken the extra students these past years. You are just increasing the size of these two schools when in past years they could not take the added increase. Also what happens to the teachers at Creekview Ranch? Do they get replaced by teachers from Dry Creek?
Jeff Randall February 23, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Antelope Crossing and Silverado will get bigger, but still around 20% below the number of students at the peek of 2007. The middle school teachers at Creekview (around 2/3 of them) will be relocated to the other 2 middle schools over the next 18 months as a part of the transition. This plan will not lead to teachers losing their jobs- but some might be at a different school starting in August of 2013.


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