OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A school in North County may be closing its doors for good due to safety concerns.
The soil underneath Reynolds Elementary, located at 4575 Douglas Drive in Oceanside, was determined unstable by engineers who conducted tests for the school’s remodel plan, a spokesperson for the Oceanside Unified School District confirmed Tuesday.
The district made the following statement on the issue:
“Several tests revealed soil liquefaction. Soil liquefaction is a loss of ground strength that causes the soil to temporarily behave like a liquid. During an earthquake this could cause buildings to sink and incur other damages.”
Although the campus buildings were determined to be structurally safe, they do not meet current code standards that have changed since the school was built in 1986, said the spokesperson.
Meetings were held this week to notify families and staff about the results of the soil tests. District officials say the safety of students and staff is their top priority.
Parents at Reynolds Elementary School are on a mission to keep the school from possibly closing permanently at the end of the school year due to safety.
“The reason for safety is convenient, this has been part of their agenda,” parent Nick Thomas said.
“I want the board to hear our voices, I want the board to hear us and understand,” another parent Ashely Gerdo said.
The district said they plan to recommend to the school board to not build on the land and to close the school for good.
“We needed answers yesterday. Don’t just come and say we are closing the school with no solution, that’s what we want to hear,” said Desirae Metoyer, the PTO Vice President and Reynolds Elementary School Parent.
The district claims modifications will not guarantee safety during an earthquake, but says the building is structurally sound enough to finish the school year. Transferring more than 500 students and staff is too disruptive at this time in the school year, the district added.
“With the lack of transparency I’m being told one thing, but their actions are not showing me they have that concern,” parent Lauren Jones said.
“Their decision to keep us here until June technically, we could stay probably longer, but I think it comes down to a money thing,” Metoyer added.
Upon closure, the district says students will be transferred to nearby campuses that keep them within a required 2-mile radius from their homes and all staff at Reynolds will be transferred to other schools in OUSD.
The board will hold a special meeting later this month to officially make the decision.
FOX 5’s Alani Letang contributed to this story.