Historic Trafton Elementary to close its doors

Historic Trafton Elementary to close its doors »Play Video
ARLINGTON, Wash. -- Tearful last-minute pleas were not enough to save century-old Trafton Elementary School.

On Monday the Arlington School District decided to shut down the school to the dismay of the school's students and parents.

"They're closing it," said one student. "I've been there since kindergarten."

District officials believe they can save $275,000 a year by closing Trafton, which needs $1 million in repairs. But parents said the closure means an irreparable loss of a piece of history.

"This is the oldest school in Washington state," said Jennifer Cowen. "This is a travesty, not only to Arlington, Snohomish County. This school has been open before Washington was a state."

Parents have said they're willing to raise money to help close the budget deficit. They even planned to hold weekly swap meets to help raise funds.

"There's $1.6 (million), and you divide it amongst the 5,600 students in the Arlington School District," said parent Kelly Roundie. "That's only $289 per child to have no layoffs, no closures, no anything."

But in the end, the district made the decision to shut down the school.

"Nobody ever wants to shut down a school. Every PTA, every principal loves their school," said district spokesperson Misti Gilman.

"It is a crying shame for the whole state," said Cowen.