Barry, Ranchvale Elementary Schools rezoned

If it were up to fourth-grader Dustin Miller, he’d like to stay at Barry Elementary School.

But Dustin and his family live in a section of base housing the Clovis Board of Education rezoned Tuesday to Ranchvale Elementary School.
Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm said the move would keep Ranchvale at a sizable population while Cannon Air Force Base’s population is low and allow Barry to take in more students as the city’s population grows.

The move would also consolidate all elementary students in military housing to one school, according to Lt. Col. John McLaurin.

The downside is it would force students to move to another school, Seidenwurm said.

“That is always the downside as far as I’m concerned,” she said.

Cannon is still in its transition phase from a fighter wing to a special operations wing and will not be fully manned for another four to six years, officials have said.

Three sets of families from Barry Elementary School attended the meeting, according to Dustin’s father, Jason, who was the only parent who spoke in front of board members against the proposal.

“This will slow down the progress that the faculty at Barry Elementary has already made with my children,” he said after the meeting.
But Seidenwurm said parents can still keep their children at Barry Elementary, but would only allow them one year of free transportation. Parents will have to provide their own means of transportation after that.

The decision came about two weeks after a public meeting at Barry Elementary School where a majority of parents whose children would be affected by the change challenged the proposal. They said it would not be fair to move children unnecessarily.

“Most kids have been here less than a year, to have them move again is just wrong,” said Dustin’s mother, Felicia after Tuesday’s meeting.
In other business, board members:

• Approved a notice of sale for $6 million of general obligation school bonds. The board will approve the sale May 13 according to meeting documents. Voters passed a $12 million general obligation bond in January.

• Considered but took not action on installing synthetic turf at Leon Williams Stadium at a cost of $578,000. They said they need to study the project more.

Athletic Director Brian Stacy said the turf would save the school district money on water and maintenance. Executive Director of Operations Gene Bieker said the turf could pay for itself in the long run.