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Claims Of Student Crowding In Natomas Not Enough To Approve Plan To Complete Half-Built School

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The Twin Rivers School District voted down a bond one week ago that would have paid to finish an abandoned high school in Sacramento, prompting many people to ask: what happens now?

Carlene DeMarco is still paying higher property taxes for an abandoned school in Natomas. She's paying off Measure G, a massive school bond approved back in 2006.

About $50 million was spent on building a few unfinished structures that have sat vacant on a dirt lot overgrown with weeds, located off Elkhorn Boulevard between Del Paso and Sorento roads.

They were supposed to be the future "ENEC", short for East Natomas Education Complex, a combined 300,000-square-foot middle, and high school.

"If they at least finish a high school, we wouldn't have kids being bused," said DeMarco, who chairs the Terrace Park Neighborhood Association.

But officials say that completing the complex would cost an additional $44 million. The Twin Rivers Unified School District just shot down a new $250 million improvement bond that would've paid for it.

Board members claim the language in the resolution wasn't clear enough.

"Well the important thing is Twin Rivers currently is serving 28,000 students in the schools that we have... and the area that ENEC... is served now by quality schools in Twin Rivers," said Twin Rivers Unified Deputy Superintendent Bill McGuire.

Packed schools may be a concern for parents but McGuire maintains there is no overcrowding in the district.

"We have lots of seats for students," he said.

Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby disagrees. She represents North Natomas and says it's the fastest-growing part of the city of Sacramento.

"We only have one school that serves the people that live in Natomas and in the district for the Twin Rivers Unified School District," she said.

The community is now calling on politicians to act.

"The school board has called emergency meetings before to address this bond issue. They still have time to call another one," DeMarco said.

But the next school meeting isn't until August 8, after the summer break.

Officials say the only thing certain now is the half-built school will stay just the way it is until a new deal is reached.

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