Paso School District may move school to new site

In an effort to further cut costs, proposals to consolidate and relocate expelled students at Paso Robles Public Schools will be considered tonight by the board of trustees.

The school district proposes moving the outlying Phillips Freedom Community Day School to a new location across the street from Paso Robles High School. The program now houses 46 students in grades 7 through 12 who have been expelled from other district schools.

Bringing the program to town would save the district the estimated $55,000 to $65,000 annually it takes to bus students to its current site — a 2,000-square-foot building and two portable structures on 10 acres off Highway 46 East at River Grove Drive.

Once the students move out, that acreage could be sold to aid the district in cutting at least $7.4 million from its budget over the next 18 months. The property is now being appraised, officials said.

One advantage of not moving the students is that their rural location 11 miles outside of town helps to keep them in school, officials say, because there is nowhere nearby for them to go.

The school board will also consider separately another district proposal to add expelled sixth-graders to Phillips Freedom.

The school board will review four options detailing future homes for Phillips Freedom. Other options include moving students to the current location of Independence High School at 504 28th St., where some buildings need to be torn down. Independence students, who represent the district’s homeschool population, are already moving to a new site that’s being built for them with Measure T money.

Another proposal would place the students in portable buildings on the lawn areas near the district offices at 800 Niblick Road.