Day-Care Programs to Lose School Site

Expanded public school enrollment could mean the relocation of three private day-care programs housed at Arroyo Elementary School by the end of the year.

Arroyo was closed in 1982 because of a shrinking student population. The campus, at 225 Ulysses St., has since been used by local child-care centers Arroyo Montessori, Kids 'n' Things West and Simi Valley Hospital's day-care operation.

But now the district expects to open the four elementary schools it closed in the early 1980s, with Arroyo likely to lead the pack.

The Arroyo campus is closest to the schools most crunched for space, and will be needed to accommodate public school students by fall 2000, said Michael Murphy, chairman of the district's Facilities Master Plan Committee.

At the end of this summer, the committee is expected to recommend the district have Arroyo vacated by year's end to give the district time to fix up the campus in time for the 2000-01 school year.

Murphy said the district is serious about needing all four of the schools it closed in 1982: Arcane, Arroyo, Belwood and Walnut Grove.

"If I were the folks at Arroyo, I would definitely be looking to do something different," Murphy said.

The district will probably need Belwood and Arroyo within the next four years, Murphy said, and all four campuses within the decade.

Tenants at Arroyo and Belwood were placed on month-to-month leases in June and notified that they need to vacate by January, said Lowell Schultze, the district's assistant superintendent of business services.

With the district facing its own housing crisis, it is unlikely to offer much help to the tenants who must now find new homes.

"We will try to help them if we have space available somewhere else. At this point we don't," Schultze said.

The district's Facilities Master Plan Committee is scheduled to meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium of Berylwood Elementary School, 2300 Heywood St. For more information, call the district at 520-6510.

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