School Board Approves School Near Airport

Friday, July 16, 2004
School board approves school near airport
The Ventura County (CA) Star

One by one, a small crowd of workers and pilots from the Oxnard Airport stood before the city’s elementary school board Wednesday night, listing objections to a proposed school site near the airport. Despite the concerns, however, the board ruled the school is a consistent use of the land.

To ease overcrowding, the district serving more than 15,000 K-8 students is negotiating to buy eight acres near the airport. The land is on the south side of Fifth Street between Patterson Road and Victoria Avenue.

The site lies about 1,200 feet from the edge of the runway. An estimated 10 to 20 helicopters fly low over the area each day.

Those who spoke during Wednesday’s public hearing said the area is too noisy for a school – and too unsafe. “There has to be other sites that are safer for children than … across the street from the airport,” said David Ousley, who has spent two decades as an airport fueler.

Yet school board President Francisco Dominguez said the issue is not unique to the site. He said planes fly over existing schools in the district and create noise.

The Ventura County Transportation Commission ruled a school would be an inconsistant use of land near the airport. But the school district has the blessing of the state Department of Transportation’s aeronautics division and the state Department of Education to build on the site.