In a meeting at the Wilson Building late on Friday afternoon (5/20/11), Deputy Mayor for Education De’Shawn Wright announced that the District would be moving forward with the modernization of the Park View School and had no plans to build a new school on the Bruce-Monroe site, which will continue being used as a community park for the immediate future.
Deputy Mayor Wright began the meeting by briefly recapping the events that lead to the present public school situation in Park View. He acknowledged the frustration of the communities impacted by these events and clearly stated that the purpose of the meeting was to map the path forward. As learned in the meeting, one factor in the decision to move forward with the Park View modernization was the District’s inability to secure the public/private partnership for the redevelopment of the Bruce-Monroe site that would have financed a new school building. Other factors included the investment of $3.3M in the Park View School that has already occurred since 2008 and the solid condition of the school’s overall structure. It was also noted that the basic design of Park View is good and that the District would not be able to achieve the same results with a new building for the same money.
Even with the improvements already made at Park View, Deputy Mayor Wright made it clear that the school does not currently live up to the standards that parents, teachers, and the community should expect. Nor does Park View currently provide an ideal learning environment.
Deputy Mayor Wright then asked Mel Butler of the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) to explain the next steps in modernizing the school. Butler began by giving details on the $3.3M already invested at Park View.
The $3.3M was broken down thusly:
To add some clarity to these categories, HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning; Life Safety includes fire doors or any improvements that make the school a healthier and safer place to learn and teach; and general improvements would be everything else. The large general expenditure in 2008 includes the renovated plaza in front of the school which was required to keep the boiler room (underneath the plaza) dry and functional. (more…)