What are you hearing at your school about the levies? Is there a big push on? I know that at least 20+ schools have endorsed it.
Yesterday, the Times had an op-ed from the head of School First, Greg Wong, in support of the levies but it had one day on their webpage and is now gone to their file area. Kind of odd.
The election is less than a month away and ballots are coming your way next week. And, yet this seems to be a decidedly low-key election. Does the district NOT want to call attention to it?
I go on record as saying I support both levies.
(FYI, I find it unlikely that either levy will fail but if one or both did, the district can come back again in a couple of months. It would cost a lot of money. If that didn't pass, at least for Operations, I'm sure the State would step in with some funds. The district could not suffer a loss of 25% of its Operating budget.)
But there are definite rumblings against BEX.
I know watchdog Chris Jackins is actively out there. He is very concerned over the Wilson-Pacific building, its murals and, of course, the outcomes for programs there that serve Native American students. Chris seems to be stepping up his efforts this time and going to different community groups to speak out.
In every BEX there is generally one problematic project and that one for BEX IV is the new TC Elementary. The district insisted on rebuilding South Shore, even as it was attached
to the Rainier Beach Community Center. Waiting would have meant
sharing the planning and costs. And now, yes, the City is redoing RBCC
(albeit slowly). There is a value to waiting.
Some members of the Wedgwood neighborhood are very unhappy about
Thorton Creek's site and the new elementary there. I can't blame them.They may or may not mount an organized effort.
Among their issues:
- 1,000 K-5 student campus and what looks like a more limited recess space
- big one - loss of sports fields. Any one who has a child playing la crosse, Ultimate, soccer, baseball, you name it, knows the struggle to find field space. The district doesn't have a good answer for this one and once they are gone, they are gone.
- it does seem odd to have 5 (count 'em 5) elementary schools within 1 mile of each other. And, in an area that is not going to get the density that say Roosevelt will (after the light rail goes in) or Lake City (which is also seeing increased density). It is also quite likely that you'll actually see more kids on buses, not fewer.
What the TC Elementary plan looks like is desperation. We need a new elementary, where do we have land?
Now land is no small thing (and this is nice flat land, even better to build on).
However, is this where we need a school?
I also can't believe just how hard it will be for TC to watch this new building rise before them when their own building is not great. Quite the bitter pill and interesting to see given the close relationship between Director Martin-Morris and Principal John Miner. It's something akin to what Chief Sealth was feeling when they got passed over for a new building, Denny got the new building AND joined their campus. Sealth did get some mitigation so I would advise the TC community to push for that for their building.
If the district took some time and worked with the City (and apparently there are those on the City Council willing to help), a better NE location could be found. But no, we forge ahead and I predict it will not have the best outcomes.