School concerned with DART's plan to separate school children from new Cotton Belt line

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A school is concerned about DART's plan to only put up a chain-link fence to separate school children from the new Cotton Belt line.

After FOX 4 reported on complaints from Far North Dallas residents about a lack of communication from DART, the metro system is now in the process of holding a series of community meetings to address concerns about the Cotton Belt line.

MORE: New round of community meetings to begin for DART's Cotton Belt project

The line is set to run right in front of Fairhill School, a concern to parents and the director, in particular, because the kids who attend school there have learning differences, like ADHD.

“He needs a little smaller classroom size, because he has distractibility issues, like a lot of kids do there,” said Dr. Erin Van Veldhuizen.

Van Veldhuizen’s son is about to start 8th grade at Fairhill School.

With its small class sizes, the school specializes in helping kids who are easily distracted.

“They can only have up to six in elementary school, per class,” Van Veldhuizen added.

But she's worried the quiet and calm atmosphere around the school is about to change.

The DART Cotton Belt line is set to run diesel hybrid trains through a densely residential area of Far North Dallas.

The train will also run close to Van Veldhuizen’s home in Prestonwood.

“We bought in this area because it’s nice and quiet,” she said.

While homes adjacent to the track are entitled to have a wall or trees, the nearby school is only set to receive a chain-link fence.

That’s because its considered commercial.

“A chain-link fence won’t do anything, especially for the noise pollution,” Van Veldhuizen added.

The director of the school, Carla Stanford, is out of town, but she released the following statement:

“Although DART claims that there is no sound impact on the school, that can’t possibly be true and we are very concerned about the distraction and disruption to the classroom that the trains will cause.  We also have voiced safety concerns.”

The school’s athletic field is right next to where the new DART tracks will run.

“If they have to be here, needs to be a wall,” Van Veldhuizen added.

When asked about this situation, a DART spokesman said in an email that DART would reach out to school administrators directly to address their concerns.

Construction is slated to start this year, with the train operational in 2022.

The next step is for residents adjacent to the tracks to cast ballots expressing if they want a wall or trees.