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Beall school parents look to lawyers to keep school open

Students asking not to close Beall Elementary

Beall Elementary School parents are taking legal action against the El Paso Independent School District to keep Beall open.

Just four days ago, Hilda Villegas left the EPISD Facilities Committee. She quit to protest the recommendation to consolidate Beall with Zavala Elementary.

But the district told KFOX14 no decision on that matter has been made.

"Any decision with consolidation is three or four years down the line," said Melissa Martinez, the spokesperson for EPISD. "It's a process."

Last week, Villegas said the decision for her and her partner Guillermo Glen to leave the committee was necessary.

"If it's only two of us voting against it, it will still be approved," Villegas said last week during the committee meeting.

But Villegas like many others have a problem with Beall being consolidated.

"The contamination is one of the major problems that the community has been voicing," Villegas said.

Zavala is next to the Spaghetti Bowl highway in central El Paso.

The Beall Parents Committee and Familias Unidas del Chamizal hired Texas RioGrande Legal Aid to take on the case against EPISD.

"We feel that since the studies that we presented the district didn't take a good look at them about the pollution," Villegas said. "We feel they should have looked at that a lot closer before they make the decision to close Beall and renovate Zavala."

Again, no decision has been made. However, the lawyers presented a letter to the district on July 19 asking the district conduct a pollution study for itself.

Part of the letter reads:

"We are particularly concerned that the study will not be given adequate consideration due to the very short time frame for the school closure and bond decision. It is imperative that the Facilities Committee and the Board not move forward with the current recommendations at this time."

KFOX14 reached out to the district about the legal case, but could not comment on legal matters.

The Beall Parents Committee will meet Thursday to discuss the next steps in their case.

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