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School boundaries likely to change

Matt Zalaznick
Bret Hartman/Vail DailyThe school district is considering closing Meadow Mountain Elementary School in Eagle-Vail to make room for an expansion of Battle Mountain High School next door. That decision may be made tonight.
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EAGLE COUNTY – Some public schools are crowded, others have extra space. The Eagle County School Board tonight is likely to decide what it will do about the problem. The board is expected to choose a plan from a number of proposals, including changing boundaries; shifting grades among schools; closing Eagle-Vail’s Meadow Mountain elementary (to make for an expanded Battle Mountain High School;) and asking voters to approve a tax increase to build a new high school in Edwards’ Berry Creek. “No decision has been made. At this point, the biggest question is to build or not build and if it’s not to build, then what do we do,” Superintendent John Brendza said Tuesday. While there will be some minor boundary changes that will put some students in different schools, no big changes will take place until 2006-2007, Brendza said. The board has received recommendations from district administrators along with pleas from parents, particularly from a group of Meadow Mountain mothers and parents who don’t want the school closed.

Last month, a group of about 20 district principals and other administrators that studied the problem for the school board suggested closing Meadow Mountain to make room for an addition to the high school next door. “None of us want to see a school closed; that being said, we’ve also got a pretty critical situation,” Brendza said. “If Meadow Mountain was located anywhere else in Eagle-Vail, we wouldn’t be talking about this.”The group of administrators suggested sending Eagle-Vail students to either Red Sandstone Elementary in Vail or Minturn Elementary. Parent Jodi Teague said in an interview last month people in Eagle-Vail are already making plans for their kids. “You know parents are looking elsewhere,” Teague, adding she knew of at least eight second graders who won’t be back at Meadow Mountain next year. “These parents have to make decisions, basically now, for what they’re going to do next year.” Dana Gumber, who has two kids at Meadow Mountain, said last month she’s already reserved spots at a local private school.Expanding Battle Mountain into the elementary school building could cost about $7 million, the district has estimated.

The administrators said the district did not yet need a new high school. The group also recommended a boundary change to ease crowding at Edwards Elementary. That change would move about 100 kids from Edwards to Avon Elementary.Assistant Editor for Local News Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado


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