Alcuin School Expansion Approved, But Neighbors of 2 North Dallas Schools Are Still Hopping Mad

Photo via ESD's Facebook page

Photo via ESD’s Facebook page

If you’ve been wondering — as we have — why signs regarding a zoning change have been hanging on the fence at Episcopal School of Dallas, you got your answer in the Metro section of the Feb. 24 Dallas Morning News. As David Flick reports, ESD wants to build a new lower school on a 7.6-acre plot south of its Midway Road campus that is currently occupied by single-family houses. That would allow ESD’s youngest students to leave their facility at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church near Preston Center and be at the same location as all of their older schoolmates.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, some people who live near ESD are not happy about this proposal. Their NIMBY (Not In My Backyard, for the uninitiated) concerns about increased traffic echo those voiced by neighbors of the Alcuin School, where officials are proposing the opposite change: adding high school sophomores, junior, and seniors to a campus that has traditionally served only youngsters.

Today, the Alcuin School’s proposed changes were approved by the Plan Commission. They move on to the full council, so the battle of schools vs. neighbors is far from over.

Look, you can’t live anywhere in Dallas and complain about the traffic. In this day and age, it’s just not realistic. If you want to live someplace where traffic isn’t a problem, move to Frisco. … Wait, scratch that. Move to Prosper. … Oh, Prosper’s getting crowded? Aw, heck, just build a home on Lake Texoma. We rarely hear anything about Texoma from the traffic reporters on the radio.

Here’s a suggestion for people living near these two schools: Why don’t you just look on the bright side and revel in the fact that you own a home within walking distance of an acclaimed campus that your children could attend from kindergarten through their senior year? And if that doesn’t suit your current stage in life, why don’t you find a smart Realtor who can sell your house to a young couple with 2.5 private-school students on the way?

5 Comment

  • This is a pretty ignorant post, particularly this:

    “Here’s a suggestion for people living near these two schools: Why don’t you just look on the bright side and revel in the fact that you own a home within walking distance of an acclaimed campus that your children could attend from kindergarten through their senior year? And if that doesn’t suit your current stage in life, why don’t you find a smart Realtor who can sell your house to a young couple with 2.5 private-school students on the way?”

    First of all, do you know the tuition at ESD? Second, do you live in a neighborhood where 16-18 yr old’ kids cut through residential streets at 50 miles an hour twice a day to get to and from school (rather than waiting at the light at Walnut Hill and Midway). And, amazingly, their parents are even worse drivers–so the lower school will only exacerbate this problem.

    I can live with the traffic at Walnut Hill and Midway–that’s just a fact of life, as you note. But you’re a bit myopic in your diagnosis of the problem.

  • mm

    David: Tis true those tuitions are steep, but we lived walking distance from St. Marks for a year and I loved it! I believe private school tuition is now about $20K per year, but many people do buy in these areas to be close to the private schools. It’s a huge draw for real estate,

  • $20,000 tuition? We passed that a long time ago and are well on our way to $30K:

    http://www.alcuinschool.org/page.aspx?pid=270

    http://www.esdallas.org/page.cfm?p=2698#tuition

    Wouldn’t it be nice if DISD could get their act together and parents could live in areas that are walking distance to award-winning PUBLIC schools? This would be great for the neighborhoods and the city as a whole.

  • The Walnut Hill Neighborhood Association has both an admired private and public school system within the one mile boundary zone. The Midway/Royal to Midway/Walnut Hill bounded by Marsh/Royal to Marsh/Walnut Hill area is being rediscovered. The neighborhood has an almost rural setting with many old mature trees and beautiful Peter Pan Park. Driving down Rosser Lane, Cox Lane, Creekdale Drive, or Betty Jane Lane would remind anyone this is a special area of Dallas worth serious consideration. Not only do we have outstanding schools, but several wonderful church congregations and a tight knit neighborhood patrol funded by voluntary dues. While there are some property tear downs (much to the dismay of residents) the area is filled with numerous original mid-century modern homes right out of the Parade of Homes circa 1960. Most of the older ranch homes have been beautifully restored and updated while those that have not are going for top dollar as-is. It’s a very diverse area of residents and everyone likes it that way. Traffic in Dallas is increasing with population density which is the goal of the city. It’s the Earthquakes that rattle us most in Walnut Hill. I bought here five year’s ago and love it.

  • It saddens and frustrates me to read this post. Things aren’t so black and white, Mr. Dicken. To say the solution for these hard-working, tax-paying homeowners is to not be whiny, deal with the expansions by saying, “”Thank you, sir, may I have another?” or rent a U-Haul and move to Texoma is, to say the least, ridiculous and narrow minded. If I didn’t know better, I would think you are somehow affiliated with one of the schools as a parent, board member, staff member, etc.

    Most of the neighbors appreciate the private schools and don’t wish ill will on the schools. They understand the benefits of living near these schools and, honestly, aren’t totally opposed to thoughtful expansions per se. I live in one of these neighborhoods. And, most neighbors understand that life is about change.

    What neighbors are concerned about is making their voices heard and, hopefully, improve the expansion plans so it does not compromise their lifestyles too much.
    • Is it wrong for these neighbors to be worried about traffic? No! Currently, in my neighborhood, families are putting out their own traffic cones/signs for drivers driving 40+ miles per hour…and, no, it’s not me…I don’t have kids. Cut-through traffic of parents and teenagers who are avoiding traffic is on the increase in these neighborhoods. One day, a child will be injured from an aggressive driver.
    • Is it wrong for neighbors to be worried about lighting and other structural issues? No! The way ESD’s plans are now there will be parking lot lighting and classroom lighting shining into adjoining neighbors’ backyards. No one wants to live in the bright glow of lights like Kramer and Seinfeld did in the infamous Kenny Rogers Chicken episode.
    • Is it wrong for neighbors to want to know the detailed plans of the schools including a timeline? No! It’s their right as a homeowner and taxpayer.

    I’d be more worried if neighbors weren’t interested in the happenings of their neighborhood. That’s where decay happens. We need more people to be involved and, unlike you, empathetic and compromising.