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Petitions passed around to stop opening of charter school | News

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Petitions passed around to stop opening of charter school
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HENDERSON, Nev. -- Coral Academy of Science is trying to open its fourth campus in the valley, and is supposed to house as many as 1,500 students. However, the school is facing some opposition from the community.

Residents who live in the Sun City MacDonald Ranch are trying to keep the new charter school from opening blocks away from the senior living community in Henderson.

Mike Micone and his neighbor Maureen Progar have been passing petitions around to collect signatures.

"We have around 1,000 signatures right now," Micone said. "We support education; we support schools, but we don't support this school at this location."

Coral Academy of Science wants to open a new campus in a retail office space that has been empty since the recession hit. Neighbors living near Sun City MacDonald Ranch said the fact that the campus will not have school buses makes them fear for their safety.

They said the fact that parents will drop off and pick up some 1,500 students a day at the busy intersection of Green Valley Parkway, and Horizon Ridge will cause a huge traffic problem.

“Some of the seniors in this community should not be driving, but they are, so if you add that to the nightmare of congestion it doesn't make since,” Progar said.

But officials of Coral Academy say the new location does make sense. They said this location would keep them from building a brand new school from the ground up, and it's close to their other three campuses.

“We currently have 4,000 students on the waiting list and with our existing campuses, we only have 200 openings for next year,” said Noah Stevens, Dean of Students for Coral Academy of Science.

Tamara Hammer has two children who attend Coral Academy. Hammer says it's a benefit having a five-star school in the neighborhood.

“For me it's wonderful to hear laughter of children playing in the backyard and schoolyard,” Hammer said. “It saddens me that some people don't find that appealing.”

Progar who's a mother of two, says she doesn't have a problem with the kids, she only has a problem with the proposed location.

“You move into a community that doesn't have children because you have been there and done that, which is why you pay money to live here, and it should remain that way,” Progar said.

The new school proposal that was set to go before the Henderson planning commission next month is postponed. The new date hasn't been set.

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