Tempers flare as WCSD unveils plan for new middle school in Arrowcreek area
RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) —
At a town hall meeting Wednesday night, Washoe County School District officials unveiled their plan to build a new middle school in the Arrowcreek area that could open as early as 2021.
WCSD is eyeing a 60-acre parcel on Arrowcreek Parkway and Thomas Creek Road with the hopes of relieving overcrowding at Depoali and Pine middle schools.
But at the first public meeting to discuss the Arrowcreek plan, WCSD officials faced tough questions from unhappy residents.
Some feared their mountain views would be obscured, or that their quality of life would diminish with a nearby school, but the biggest concern appeared to be traffic.
Arrowcreek Parkway, the main roadway that would be used to get there, is just one lane in each direction.
"It would be good to have a school there; they would just have to open up several more lanes of traffic," Jeff Kilbourn said.
"We want the school pushed back," Kimberly Gomez said. "Unless somebody tries to use or force eminent domain on that property to seize it, there' s no way they can widen (Arrowcreek Parkway)."
WCSD officials were quick to remind residents that it was still very early in the process, before a traffic study had been done.
Several parents spoke up in favor of the new school, even if it meant added traffic in their neighborhood.
"I understand what they're saying, but this is a middle school, this is about education," Heather Bray said.
"There hasn't been one thing said about the kids. The word kids wasn't even brought up."
The land is currently owned by the U.S. Forest Service and WCSD is currently in the process of acquiring the parcel.