Friday, October 14, 2011

Another of the Moving Parts of Capacity Management

Facility condition: what does it mean to reopen a building?  what buildings are going to be considered under BEX IV and how much will capacity management needs influence the list? 

This press release was just put out by SPS Communications:

Seattle Public Schools was listed among the nation’s major city public school districts which have substantial construction, renovation, modernization, and deferred maintenance needs because of the age and size of their school buildings, shifting populations, and the need to devote substantial resources to instructional personnel to meet their core academic mission.

The Council of the Great City Schools, the nation’s primary coalition of large urban public school districts, surveyed its 65 member school systems to determine the scope and scale of that need.

The average age for Seattle Public School Buildings is 50 years old. The list does not include all Seattle Public Schools needing renovation, repair, modernization and deferred maintenance, but does list Aki Kurose, Boren, Broadview –Thomson, Fairmount Park, John Marshall, Meany,  Montlake, Salmon Bay and  (old) Van Asselt under the category of needing renovation, repair and modernization needs totaling $27.7 million. 

I am more than a little puzzled about this list.   I'm not sure why these are the schools they chose to list although:
  • Boren and Fairmount Park have been discussed as coming back on-line as schools
  • John Marshall is now in play as well.
  • Meany is probably one of the top 3 worst buildings in SPS so no surprise there plus SBOC  already has a little bit of money set aside (about $10M but somehow they lost $4M from the original promises made under BEX II).
  • I have no idea why Montlake is there and not McGilvra.  Both are old buildings but McGilvra has the footprint to be bigger and Montlake doesn't.  
  • Salmon Bay has had a lot of money poured into its old building and probably should be a candidate except that we have 3, count 'em 3, middle schools that desperately need modernization and space - Washington, Whitman and Eckstein.  BEX IV is only going to go so far.
They also sent a press release about the President's American Jobs Act that would send money to Washington state for this effort of renovating school buildings.   This would be a huge help to SPS to get more buildings fixed up as we need all of them to be safe and modern buildings. 


mirmac1 said...

Hell no without a fix for their lousy construction management practices, namely GC-CM gravy to contractors. Mr. Nichols, please fix it!

Charlie Mas said...

It is, of course, disconcerting to see Meany on this list while Mann is not.

The NOVA Project was moved out of the Mann building and into the Meany building.

At the time the District claimed that the move was to save operating costs - except that NOVA at Mann was the least expensive school in the district for non-academic operating costs.

At the time the District claimed that the move was to save capital costs - except that the money needed to fix up the Meany building the District could have paid for a tear-down and rebuild of the Mann building.

Now the District is using Meany as a poster child for buildings that are horribly run-down, but they claimed that it was a step up for NOVA.

Here's the ultimate irony: When the District makes Meany the World School, they will probably have to move NOVA out of the building. And where will NOVA go? Probably to the Mann building. TT Minor is another possibility, but a fixed-up Mann would be a better choice.

Is the District really going to spend the next three years undoing the damage done in the last three years?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Apparently so but c'mon Charlie, we have to move on. What's done is done and really, is it anyone's fault? It could be anyone's fault really.

Maybe it's the unions. Yes, that's it.

Or maybe, it's the fault of NOVA and their old, horrible couches.

It's just mean to talk about people's work (even as they get paid) and second-guess their decisions (even though it continues to cost this district probably in the millions) and continue to point out mistake after mistake (but really how do they continue this pattern so well year after year - you must give them some credit for consistency).

Wait - I forgot. It's all the fault of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Asa Mercer Middle School belongs on that list!