[CORRECTED, UPDATED:] Walter Knott Elementary School May Close

CORRECTION: Knott's Berry Farm officials say they have "no intention of buying, leasing or renting" the Walter Knott Elementary School site.
UPDATE: The district has scheduled a community meeting to discuss the possible closure (details on both below) . . .

Walter-Knott.jpg
Walter Knott, flamer
A Buena Park elementary school named after the late Walter Knott, the paranoid loon who founded Knott's Berry Farm, is closing may close at the end of the school year to become a parking lot for . . . wait for it . . . Knott's Berry Farm.

CORRECTION: "Knott's Berry Farm was surprised and saddened to hear of the possible closure of Walter Knott Elementary School," writes Director of Marketing Michele A. Wischmeyer in an email to the Weekly today. ". . . Knott's has no intention of buying, leasing or renting the property."

UPDATE: Students brought home letters to their parents that state dwindling enrollment over the past eight years, coupled with an $8 million reduction in state funding over the past two years, is causing district officials to consider closing Walter Knott Elementary. A community meeting to discuss the possible closure is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in the Walter Knott multi-purpose room. More details are available on the district wesbite, www.cesd.us. 

Like school systems up and down the state, the Centralia Elementary School District is strapped for cash.

But parents who are upset they are just learning about the closure now, and they held a meeting last night at the school at 7300 La Palma Ave., Buena Park, to vent their frustrations.

Among them is Monica Aguilar, the mother of a second grader who is a gifted student at the school that opened in 1958.

"This came as a huge surprise we when heard about it this Monday, because there was no communications between Centralia school district and the community," she wrote in an email to the Weekly. "We were not given the opportunity to fight to save our school."

UPDATE FROM MEETING WITH SCHOOL OFFICIALS THIS WEEK:

Two days before Knott's Berry Farm denied it will buy, rent or lease the school named after the theme park's founder, parents who had been told by staff members at the school that Knott's needed the land for a five tier parking structure heard the district superintendent say at a meeting the site will be rented out.

"It is sad that these rumors are going around, but it is even sadder that the school district is electing to close one of the highest performing schools," said Aguilar. ". . . The bottom line is that they are choosing profit over education." 


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