The Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District school board voted unanimously to close the historic Dry Creek Elementary School Thursday night.
Their decision also calls for transitioning Creekview Ranch Middle School into a kindergarten through eighth-grade school.
The elementary is now slated to close in June of 2014. Transitioning the middle school is expected to take up to 18 months.
The vote followed an hour and a half presentation by the district's staff followed by numerous comments from parents and teachers opposing the recommendation.
The district's board members agreed the aging school needed to be closed and that the most cost-effective way to move the students would be to make the middle school a K-8.
"Anything that we can do to save money and save teachers and classified staff jobs is really difficult to get upset about," said Board Member Jeff Randall.
Board President Scott Otsuka cited why he thought the school should close.
"We have to move students off of the Dry Creek campus for their own health and sanity. I would like to move the educators off the educators off the Dry Creek campus as well," said Board President Scott Otsaku. "It has become a very tough environment in which to educate and which to learn."
Creekview Principal Gabe Simon said he wasn't surprised by the district's decision, adding he has heard accounts of sewage problems at Dry Creek.
"It means a lot of change is going to happen at the school," said Simon. "It will be like opening a new school. We will have a new community of kids and families coming in."
The vote directly impacts the district's three middle schools, as well as two other elementary schools.
Middle school enrollment designations for students attending Coyote Ridge Elementary school and Barrett Ranch Elementary are now slated to change.
All students at Coyote Ridge will soon attend Silverado Middle School. And students moving up into middle school at Barrett will now attend Antelope Crossing Middle School. Enrollment will increase at both middle schools.
A group of teachers and parents huddled outside in front of the Creekview Ranch's multi-purpose room following the board's decision.
"I think it's a huge disservice to middle school students as well as elementary school students," said Nicole Zanni, who came as both a Creekview teacher and a parent of a Dry Creek Elementary student.
District parent Scott Elling felt the board didn't consider the middle schoolers enough. "I feel bad for the kids at the other middle schools that such a small population is impacting hundreds of kids," said Elling. Elling said he would have rather seen the district move Dry Creek students to other elementary schools.
Nearly 100 people attended the meeting.
Creekview Ranch and Dry Creek Elementary School parent Barbie Camacho, spoke in favor of the changes.
"As long as people putting everything together do it in a positive way it can be a positive change," said Camacho, who also went to Dry Creek as a child.
Dono Riolo, a parent in the district, agreed with Camacho. Speaking to the age differences posed at a K-8 school she said, "It provides little kids with someone to look up to and I think it provides the bigger kids with someone to help out."