SUGAR LAND, Texas – Fort Bend Independent School District voted early Tuesday morning on a critical and controversial issue for the district: rezoning.
Parents, worried that proposed changes would force their children to attend different schools, gathered at the Fort Bend ISD administration headquarters well before the start of the meeting Monday night to have their voices heard.
Eleven issues were brought to the table during the meeting involve rezoning, expanding older schools to accommodate growth, and building new schools to alleviate student overpopulation.
One agenda item was the fate of Barrington Place Elementary. Board members discussed the option of closing the nearly 30-year-old school or using it as a so-called "swing school" to deal with growth.
Parents rallied together knocking on doors and creating t-shirts, yard signs and a petition which 350 signed to save the school.
"The majority of our school children live in our community. They live in Ashford Lakes. It's part of the community. That school was put there to educate the students of the community because we had so many children living there," said parent Suzanna Chescheir. "There is no reason to take all the Barrington kids and shove them into a smaller school when our school is more than capable of handling them and taking on more"
In the end, the district said the board took action and modified several of the administration’s recommendations. An updated facilities master plan includes recommended construction of six elementary schools - two of them are rebuilds, one new middle school, additions at three elementary schools and one middle school, and land for a future high school.
Barrington Place Elementary will remain as is, the district said.
"I think the board really got a chance to see it because they could see the number of people that were concerned about this -- because the school is fine as it is. Why do something with no basis. So when they saw the community step up, they also answered," said Ravi Brahmbrhatt whose child is expected to attend the school next year.