SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS 5) - It’s been almost two months since part of Navajo Elementary in Scottsdale caught fire. Now parents of students there are coming together to urge the school board to get their kids back to their normal campus as soon as possible.
The school is still fenced up and locked up. The kids are still at a temporary campus at Oak Academy.
“They really miss being here, and that it’s just not their school and they really miss being here,” said Jill Mullen, mom of two Navajo Elementary students.
While parents say the Scottsdale Unified School District did a lot to help move classroom supplies to the other campus, they say the future of the original campus is still up in the air.
“The school is sitting here right behind us and it’s empty,” said Elie Goodman, who also has two kids attending Navajo. “There doesn’t seem to be a lot of momentum, doesn’t seem to be a lot of movement happening.”
After a petition brought parents together, a lot of them are planning to make public comments at next week’s board meeting. On the agenda is a discussion of ‘possible options and broad pricing for Navajo Elementary School.’
A district spokesperson says options could include rebuilding the school entirely, or simply using the insurance payout to restore the school to what it was before the fire. The latter is precisely what these parents want most.
“We just want to get back to campus,” Goodman said.
If they go the insurance route, the money would only restore the buildings that burned. That means there would be a discrepancy between new sections and the older parts, which were originally built in 1960.
Parents say there has also been talk of consolidation. Some moms and dads fear the fire might be the perfect excuse for the district to close the school for good. Enrollment at the school is relatively small – about 400 students.
“If we are uncertain about what the outcome of this school is during open enrollment, it’s not gonna mean that we’re gonna have more kids at school next year,” Goodman said. “It means they’re gonna have less kids at Navajo next year.”
“The new families that are coming in to school, like kindergarten families, they don’t have anything to go tour right now,” Mullen said.
The meeting is Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Coronado High School.