Boy, you have to love this district's chutzpah. I mean to blatantly say one thing one year and then say something else. The consistency in this district is how inconsistent they are.
Where to start? Let's start with Don Kennedy's repeated statements that there was a "hiring freeze" at the district headquarters. Nonsense. It's just in how you interpret it I guess. I mean they likely didn't fill any positions currently open so sure maybe that's the hiring freeze. But they just created a new position in the superintendent's office for an aide and, as we have been discussing, our new Broad resident . Wonder where he or she will put their MBA/MPA talents at? (And, still waiting for Mr. Kennedy to answer my e-mail on the hires, their salaries, their job descriptions, etc. but why wait? I'll just fire off my public disclosure request to Legal and skip the middle man.)
And that hiring freeze was only on the operations side because the capital side (facilities) hired themselves not one but two new people to oversee the BEX program.
Speaking of BEX, well, here's a new press release from Communications touting a joint agreement between the district and the Parks department for the play area around Hamilton. Here's an excerpt:
"A new design for the interface between the Wallingford playground and the Hamilton International Middle school has been created and will be constructed as part of the completion of the renovations of the Hamilton International Middle School building. Seattle Parks and Recreation in conjunction with Seattle Public Schools and the community joined together to create the design, resulting in a thoughtful redevelopment of the playground with many new facilities, greatly benefiting both community members and students."
Great, right? Joining with the City to create an area that melds together and has joint facilities? But oh yeah, that's right, even though South Shore (formerly New School) is joined like a Siamese twin to the Rainier Beach Community Center (the dividing line is right in the middle of a hallway), the district couldn't wait for any kind of co-design there. Nope, even though now, the South Shore building sprouts out of the community center like a giant space ship, even though the community center is a very integral part of that community, could the district wait for the City to get on-board with a joint redo? A redo that could have been "a thoughtful redevelopment" "greatly benefiting both community members and students"? Nah.
What is really infuriating is that the district said they couldn't wait for the City. Why? Because South Shore was one of the worst buildings in the district? No because it wasn't. Because the City wasn't going to get around to it for awhile? Well, I just found this at the Rainier Valley Post:
"Seattle Parks and Recreation invites the Rainier Beach community and swimmers to a kick-off meeting for the new Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool on Tues., June 9, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Rainier Beach Community Center (8825 Rainier Ave. S.). At this “hopes and dreams” meeting, residents will have an opportunity to describe their vision for the building and pool. Parks staff, A•R•C Architects and Counsilman Hunsker aquatic designers will discuss the project, answer questions and ask for community input. After conducting a building assessment in 2007 Parks determined that the current facility would be demolished and a new community center and pool constructed. The anticipated construction start is early 2011."
"Parks is currently negotiating to acquire a 42,000 sq. ft. land parcel, adjacent to the center, currently owned by the Seattle School District. The land addition would nearly double the property size, providing ample room for expansion and parking."
Oh, so the district COULD have waited and maybe saved some money for both the district and the City and had a unified look for that space.
It's appalling how often the district says one thing when it suits their purpose and then turns around and says another.