Crestview Elementary kids to stay put
By Staff Sgt. Raymond Hoy , 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 03, 2006
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Children will remain in classes while school receives Measure M upgrades.
Members of the Vandenberg community piled into the all-purpose room at Crestview Elementary School to discuss matters concerning the children Sept. 21.
The matter at hand was the proposed solution to upcoming construction on the campus. Dr. Frank Lynch, the superintendent of the Lompoc Unified School District, came to the meeting to clear up concerns and answer any and all questions concerning the construction process.
"This particular facility was built in 1960," Doctor Lynch explained. "And in 2002, the voters of the city of Lompoc voted on Measure M; which is a program to refurbish all of the schools in the district."
The construction is meant to modernize the school and bring the facility up to current standards in regards to plumbing, gas, electric, heating and cooling; followed by new carpeting, tiling and painting where necessary.
"We want this school to be modernized and to continue to serve the military community for many years to come," said Dr. Ken Faulk, Crestview's principal. "We have been in meetings with the district office passing on the concerns of the parents and staff. The district listened to the concerns and has come up with options that were presented. I believe the best choice for this community was made."
The main concern that has been brought up is what to do with the children while the construction is going on.
Rumors had been circulating amongst the parents since the beginning of the school year on what the solution would be. The main solution that had been brought up earlier in the year was busing the children to one of the schools in Lompoc. The children would have been placed in portable classrooms at that school for the remainder of the school year and possibly even into the next school year.
The next option was splitting the children up between some of the schools on base. There are currently six empty classrooms at Los Padres Elementary School, as well as eight classrooms currently occupied by Allen Hancock University at the old West Wing School across from the Commissary. The remainder of the children would be placed at Maple High School.
The last option was allowing the children to stay in place during construction. This option was met with applause from most of the parents and school staff alike.
"This is not going to be easy," said Diane Zemanovic, a teacher at Crestview for more than 17 years. "But we can stay together as a community and I think that's the most important thing for all of us; for your kids, for the teachers and for the parents.
"This is a far closer community than any other school I've ever taught at in the 30 years I've taught in this district and I want to see that community spirit stay," she added.
After all concerns were brought up, the parents were left to vote on which option was the best for their children. Having the children stay where they are was decided to be the best option available to the parents at the meeting
The main concern brought up after the vote was made, was the safety of the children.
"Who's going to make sure our kids stay away from the construction zones?" one parent asked.
"What's going to be done to keep the distraction to a minimum?" asked another.
In the end, parents were assured that all measures that could be taken to keep the children safe would be taken.
"This is a big change," Doctor Lynch said. "And none of us like change, but we'll do everything possible to make this change an easier process.
"We're in the kid business, and we really care about these kids."