A committee looking at space use in the Chandler Unified School District has identified Erie Elementary School as a future, permanent site for Hamilton Prep.
The district formed the committee earlier this year to look at 11 schools in the district’s northern boundary as a potential place to move the rigorous focus school now in its third year in rented space at Chandler Christian Church.
The schools examined are in older communities with aging populations, district spokesman Terry Locke said. Because of that, the elementary schools have seen a decline in enrollment.
Hamilton Prep has a waiting list and no room to expand. It currently serves grades seven through 10, but there are plans to open it to students through 12th grade. The district currently pays $100,000 a year to rent space at the church.
Staff, parents and principals from the 11 schools made up the committee. They were directed to make a recommendation based on three criteria — the ability to relocate students with minimal disruption, the ability to adapt the site for the prep school, and accessibility to major roads. The committee was told it could come up with one to three schools to recommend to the board.
The governing board will discuss the recommendation on Wednesday. The board has the final say.
Letters went out to Erie Elementary School families on Friday. There will be a meeting 6:30 p.m. April 21 at the school, 1150 West Erie St., to provide information and collect input.
Locke said Erie could be converted into Hamilton Prep by the 2012-2013 school year, allowing the district time to create a plan to address which school or schools Erie students will be moved to. Parents are also welcome to open enroll their students in other Chandler schools at any time, Locke said.
Erie Elementary currently has 437 students.
The governing board will hear updates on the plan May 12 and May 26.