Conservationists and parents attacked a plan before the Conejo Valley school board to use a portion of open space in Newbury Park for a fifth middle school.
Open-space advocates Tuesday said the city of Thousand Oaks bought the 20-acre Rancho Potrero site, near the Dos Vientos subdivision, to keep it free from development.
"This is a wildlife corridor connecting the Santa Monica Mountains with the Simi Hills," Mary Wiesbrock, president of Save Open Space, told the board during a study session on the district's crowded middle schools. "We ask you to keep it in a natural state."
Parents of school-age children said building a school on the site in a few years would not solve the current need for a fifth middle school. They also expressed skepticism that voters would approve a bond measure to pay for the project, which is estimated to cost between $20 million and $25 million.