Kyrene options

Current Superintendent of Kyrene School District David Schauer at a Governing Board meeting last year. Schauer announced he would leave the district in August. 

AFN file photo

After a week of discussion, the Kyrene School District Governing Board unanimously approved its resolution against the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway and Pecos Road alignment.

According to the drafted resolution, it states the Kyrene Elementary School District Governing Board wishes to express it position opposing the proposed extension of the Loop 202, west of Interstate 10 (the South Mountain Freeway).

With the governing board adopting the resolution against the building of the Loop 202 and Pecos Road alignment, they are also urging the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and all parties involved to select a “No Build” alternative as to this alignment.

The resolution also affirms the increase in noise; traffic and impact on air quality will negatively impact the Kyrene community and create new hazards and burdens for Kyrene’s schools in the vicinity of the Loop 202 freeway.

Members of Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children (PARC) were in attendance during Tuesday night’s meeting and were joyful hearing the district’s opposition towards the freeway extension.

Bill Diekmann, member of PARC, spoke on behalf of the organization, thanking governing board members for adopting the resolution against the Loop 202.

Diekmann urged the governing board to use its communication channels at its disposal to let the community they support know what they have done on their behalf.

“I think it’s more important than ever that people know there is a building momentum not only opposing this particular issue, but also we are looking to strengthen the ties that bind our community together,” Diekmann said. “We are willing to stand up to powerful and entrenched interests, even if the objective itself is not inherently destructive, but the means to achieve that object are.”

Connie Squires, secretary of PARC, also thanked the governing board for being brave and courageous to find a resolution that will benefit the children of Kyrene.

“It’s a huge victory and it just demonstrates what good sense these board members have as to their responsibilities to the schools’ children in all their elementary and middle schools in our community,” she said.

Squires added that PARC will begin focusing its time on getting the Tempe Union High School District on board about the issue and not take a stance of neutrality.

“In our opinion, neutral is not an option,” Diekmann said.

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