Residents upset over fate of Dry Creek
Old classmates, teachers and community members came together to discuss the fate of Dry Creek Elementary School.
At a school district board meeting on March 15 the school board decided to move forward with the sale of the property.
Former student Stacy Robinson wrote letters to the Roseville Historical Society to see if there was anything she could do to stop the sale.
“Dry Creek Elementary is unlike any school in the district,” she said.
The school which was established in 1876 with some of the buildings built earlier than that, said Robinson but the school district said those buildings were gone in the 1930’s and the rest of the buildings were built between 1950 to 1989.
Robinson said she is trying to get the paperwork to verify the dates, but has already started the process with the National Register of Historic Places.
Christina Richter, President of the Roseville Historical Society, told Robinson to be persistent and start getting people educated on the topic.
“If the original schoolhouse still sits intact on the property it is quite eligible for the National Register of Historic Places,” said Richter. “But keep in mind that the owner of the property can do what they want, regardless. However, these are elected officials so they care about what people think. Your job is now educating the public as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Robinson also said she had a problem with the way the sale of the property came about and feels that the board violated some rules like the Brown Act which prohibits secret meetings and workshops between elected or appointed officials.
Since 2014 the school has not been in use and school board officials say that the infrastructure, safety concerns and ADA compliance were huge factors.
The school board said that they chose this route because the cost to bring the school up to code would be around $1 million and the cost to address the infrastructure would be $3 million to $4 million
“The Board is made up of members who have lived in the Dry Creek community for decades,” said Bill Schuetz, Dry Creek School Board President. “We fully understand and appreciate the special connection folks have to the former Dry Creek Elementary School. As trustees we are tasked with making decisions for the benefit of the entire District. The decision to surplus and sell Dry Creek was difficult and well-considered through a series of public Board meetings spanning multiple years. We are confident in our decision, and strongly believe it will benefit the District as a whole for many years to come.”
The 10 acre Dry Creek Elementary property was officially listed for sale on February 16 with an asking price of $3.1 million. Proceeds from the sale would go directly into the District’s facility fund, benefiting current and future students.
Robinson said that announcements about the sale were not communicated well to the public and happened behind closed doors.
“They wanted to prevent as much discourse and dissent as possible,” she said.
Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District owns another 12-acre school site off of Vineyard and Crowder in the Dry Creek community that the school board said is build ready and would cost significantly less to build a new school site.
Based upon projected development in the area and current capacity at existing schools, the District only needs to build one more school at a future date and time.
“My children and grandchildren attended Dry Creek Elementary,” said Diane Howe, Dry Creek School Board Member. “I served on Dry Creek Elementary PTA, and have lived in this community for over 40-years. Many great memories were made at Dry Creek Elementary, but it was the teachers, the students, and the families who made those memories great. It was not the building. The District has a responsibility to current and future students to ensure they have suitable and sustainable facilities where they can safely learn and flourish. It is not fiscally responsible for us to hold onto a failing building in lieu of providing a high-quality learning environment for students and staff.”
The district plans to go through with the sale once a buyer is found.
If anyone wants to contact Robinson or others who hope to stop the sale, email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Our biggest fear is they will push the sale through,” said Robinson.