Here is what I would have liked to say to the Board of Education last Thursday:
Regarding the design development of the new high school, I am concerned that parking may be a problem, especially for state sporting events. The site is "tight." We are an "advantaged" school district and lots of students have cars. It is safer for young drivers NOT to load up a lot of passengers. I would not want to see students denied the privilege of driving to school due to lack of safe, convenient parking. At this time, the campus will have about 680 spaces for 1650 students and more than 150 faculty and staff. Seems minimal.
Where will our Building Services Dept. be located? I am hopeful that this dept. will not move to the Farm, which is getting a little crowded.
Are we sure we want to hire an Assoc. Principal for Lahser? The school is closed, and enrollment is down.
Brother Rice has confirmed that they will not attempt to buy or lease Lahser. We need a PLAN for this campus. We also need to have a plan for Hickory Grove and Pine Lake schools. The BHSD has about 100% excess capacity, and it is draining education funds to maintain them.
I am glad that any decision to move forward with a medical clinic for employees has been delayed. Please reconsider getting into the health care field at this time. Schools in disadvantaged areas sometimes have clinics for STUDENTS, but we seem to have good health care available and, as you know, changes in health care are pending.
Our district has never needed financial oversight as much as we do today! The cost of the high school project can escalate with changes and additions. Please commit to completing the project in the proper time frame at the agreed cost.
DPS ribbon-cutting at the new "Finney" high (now East English Village Prep) Sat. at 9 am. The DPS does a nice job on these presentations, and as a district involved in a major construction project it would be a good idea to learn from DPS's experience. (The school is AMAZING, with 4 academic wings including a 9th Grade Academy.) Low-maintenance masonry and stone floors, a health services clinc (St. John Health) and 8-lane pool, auditorium seats 796. The complex cost about $48-million, complete with furnishings and equipment, for a capacity of 1200 students. It's worth a look, as are other DPS new-builds and renovations.
(I'm a 1971 Osborn grad, and follow Detroit and other district issues.)
That's about it. I would have had to talk fast, but I do that anyway.