DH and I are trying to decide what to do about Kindergarten for DD next year. Due to overcrowding in our neighborhood schools, anew elementary is opening in the fall, which is when she will start. The attendance area boundaries were just set and we are still zoned for the same school as before, but are very close to the boundary and the schools are almost equidistant from our house (the new one is less than a block further). We can ask to be assigned to the new school instead of our default school if we want, but the application period opens soon so we really need to decide. Here are the pros and cons of each school:

Existing (assigned) school:
Pros are that it’s established and well-regarded. A few of our neighbors are teachers there. It’s a K-8 so she would be able to stay there through middle school (assuming we don’t decide to go private for MS). It’s more centrally located to the little business district and thus more after-school programs, but those programs are ALWAYS full with wait lists so I don’t know if that should even matter. The new boundary lines place it firmly in the highest SES part of the neighborhood so there’s lots of PTA money and parental involvement for extras beyond what the school itself can pay for.
Cons are that the building is old and not in good shape, but won’t be getting upgrades anytime soon because so many of the other schools in the district are in truly awful condition. One of the district’s goals in opening the new elementary is to shift young kids out and increase middle school space at the K-8, and I’m concerned about DD being one of a smaller cohort of little kids among an increased number of middle schoolers in the building.

New school:
Pros are that it’s newly renovated and totally up to current codes/safety standards. I’ve met the principal-to-be a couple times and liked her. She’s coming from a nearby elementary “option” school with an alternative learning philosophy I kind of like, and even though this won’t be an option school, she’s bringing several teachers from that school with her so I imagine the philosophy will be infused, if not front and center. DD’s best friend and a couple other kids we know will be at this school. It’s likely to be slightly more diverse, though our neighborhood as a whole is fairly well-off and not particularly racially diverse. If we got in but didn’t like it, we could always revert to our assigned school for first grade and beyond.
Cons: it’s on a busier street. The middle school it feeds into is truly terrible, but we could send DD back to our assigned K-8 if we wanted. As a brand-new school, there’s no history of being good, bad, or otherwise. No existing PTA funds at this time (though the other two schools in our neighborhood have promised seed money and the new PTA will be up and running within the next week or two). No idea what aftercare options will be like yet. And we might not get in anyway.

Overall, I’m leaning heavily toward trying for the new school, but DH is pretty hung up on the location. It’s not on a highway or anything, but it’s a neighborhood arterial and there isn’t a huge buffer between the front of the school and the road. But it’s not like the kids will be wandering around the front of the school without adults around. Does anyone think I’m missing something, though? I really don’t think we have a bad option here, and we’ll be fine with whichever school we go to, but we really just need to make a decision.