The Carson City School Board has directed staff to hold neighborhood meetings in February addressing the potential need to rezone Carson Middle and Eagle Valley Middle schools’ boundaries.
The public meetings informing families of the intent to modify school zones affect students promoting primarily from Fremont Elementary School to Carson Middle or Eagle Valley.
The boundaries would be changed to allow for greater equity, efficiency and safety, Superintendent Richard Stokes said in his presentation to the board Tuesday night.
According to statistics as analyzed by district consultant Davis Demographics, enrollment numbers are expected to increase between this school year and 2024-25. Carson Middle School at present can only accommodate 1,200 students, but with expected population growth by 2025, the campus would take on about 1,436 with the district factoring in the city’s recent approval of new housing developments such as Andersen Ranch.
Eagle Valley, in the meantime, at its current capacity can take 731 students. As of fall 2019, it has accommodated 607, but by 2025 it would decrease to 540 students by the current zoning.
Eagle Valley is able to take on even more students but needs to add to its facilities, and district officials have not yet announced an official start date for construction. The school staff is working with local consultants to determine how much acreage is needed plus the number of classrooms and the accompanying facilities to go with them, district spokesman Dan Davis said Wednesday.
Trustee Joe Cacioppo on Tuesday asked how the district’s potential purchase of 1600 Snyder Ave., of which the district is still waiting to receive results from its environmental study, would impact any further need for rezoning.
Stokes said Carson City’s elementary schools currently hold anywhere from 500 to 630 students. Assuming the district were to purchase the Snyder property and it was designated as another elementary campus, the other elementary schools might be adjusted accordingly, he said.
“We have to ask ourselves how big do we want our elementary schools to be?” he said. “To me, it makes sense. We’re seeing a lot of growth. … There’s some considerations that have to be done.”
But Stokes warned against rezoning twice in quick succession if the district were to purchase Snyder, suggesting the district would immediately re-engage with Davis Demographics if that were to occur.
The school district has only been rezoned once in 20 years, according to Stokes, after portables were removed from Carson Middle School’s campus. The grounds were altered to accommodate more students.
The board heard public comment from parents concerned about potential issues with variances.
Stokes added families will be welcome to attend one or both of the communities if they’d like and encouraged them to attend meetings at the school they’re not familiar with to learn the campus if they wish. Meetings have been scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at Eagle Valley Middle School and 6 p.m. Feb. 13 at Carson Middle School, 4151 E. Fifth St. A meeting also is planned for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at Fremont Elementary School, 1511 Firebox Road.
The item is scheduled to return to the board again at its March 10 meeting.