Their reasoning for not supporting the plan?
- students think mixing high school boys with middle school girls is a bad idea (and this from a boy)
- Sealth feeling that they are not being treated like other high schools (i.e. West Seattle, Roosevelt, Ballard, etc.), that they are going to lose space and are basically getting very little out of the deal. Some said they'd be willing to wait for funds for their renovation.
- community members feeling shut out by Facilities staff and wondering why the district won't talk to them (meaning, feeling kind of suspicious about being held at arm's length)
- lack of an explanation of how a joint campus advances academics which is supposed to be the driver in facilities
This from the West Seattle blog:
Susan Harmon from the Westwood Neighborhood Council, speaking during the public-comment period, asked the board to delay Denny-Sealth votes until after a meeting WNC is working to organize for late January or early February to examine both the potential impacts of the shared high school/middle school campus concept, and the future of the current Denny land if the project proceeds as currently planned."
I'm sure this request puts the Facilities staff in a knot. It's interesting that so many different people feel like this project was never clearly presented or discussed and now, once again, it's rush, rush, rush by Facilities.
I did let a few of these folks know about what they may be facing in trying to be heard. I was looking at the BEX II and III meeting minutes and found this when they were talking about Hamilton* and the problems with the neighbors:
"The District may engage in mediation with Parks and the activists as long as it’s crafted in a way that doesn’t require consensus. Steve suggests calling it a “facilitated conversation”. The term “mediation” sets up expectations and rules."
Steve is Steve Goldblatt a member of BEX II committee(not a staff member) but staff seemed to concur. I'd guess that lets out compromise and consensus as well.
*Hamilton did come up last night. It turns out the City Examiner turned down the district's proposed placement of the Hamilton gym and it is being revamped in a different direction.