Didn't the "business case" compare adding a fourth school to the consolidated school option?
- Yes, but the “business case” the Building Committee prepared earlier this year to evaluate the possibility of renovating the three current neighborhood schools and adding a fourth school of similar size was very much a “straw-man exercise” designed to validate that the mega-school solution was the only possible solution.
- Unfortunately, the “evaluation” was vastly unfair to the fourth school possibility. The “renovations” of the current schools were essentially tear-down-and-rebuild scenarios. Consider that the business case shows building a fourth school for $56 million and renovating each of the three elementary schools for only slightly less, with Pleasant Hill coming in at $51 million, Eight Corners at $46 million and Blue Point at $38 million. And the proposed renovations vastly increased the size – and therefore the costs – of the schools. The redesigned/renovated schools were sized at around 240 square feet per student, compared to the State guideline of 140 sf/student.
- The “business case” also states that the renovation approach would take 9-12 years to accomplish. This is in stark contrast to the experience in Portland where a similar make-over of their neighborhood schools took about six years (including covid supply chain delays).
- The “business case” was completed by the School Department’s consultant (Harriman) and developed completely behind the scenes with no opportunity for public input.