Good evening everyone. My name is Nick Lardas. I am a resident of Oakland and am here to speak again as a concerned parent, taxpayer and voter.Nick's contact info has been nuked by the blog owner. If you want it, leave a note in the comments.
I request that the board vote no on moving students out of Schenley HS, and no on further expenditures on HS reform. These issues are interrelated and until complete information and complete plans are available spending any money down any one path is a waste of our precious resources.
Ten days ago because of my engineering & construction expertise I was invited along with a group of construction professionals to tour Schenley HS with some PPS Facilities personnel. Base on that visit and the information in this Facilities Portfolio on Schenley I have concluded that the building is safe for students now and next year. There is no emergency. There is time to plan wisely before spending money.
There is not now, nor have there ever been according to your records any asbestos fibers in the air at Schenley.
According to WJE, your expert, the plaster that fell last summer was the result of prior water and vibration damage that was never fixed. Now that all the plaster has been addressed there is no imminent threat. Furthermore there’s no such thing as sudden catastrophic adhesion failure in 90-year-old gypsum plaster. Go search the web or the public library.
High moisture readings in water damaged plaster are to be expected regardless of humidity levels.
Contrary to what has been reported the ventilation system is partially working. The exhaust fans on the roof penthouses are actively pulling air out of the building. While the intake fans are off, the ducts and dampers are open so makeup air is being drawn into the building through them.
The new windows do not seal well. In fact your facilities personnel are screwing them shut because of this. I don’t understand why you do not have the manufacturer who warranted these windows fixing them.
If you would like to act in an abundance of caution, remove the plaster ceilings in Schenley this summer. This is work that will have to be done as part of the renovation of Schenley, so you will not be throwing money away on any temporary move.
The cost to renovate Schenley according to your portfolio is $37.8 Million, not the higher figures reported.
There is not enough time in the 3 minutes allotted here for me to explain everything I know related to these issues. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with each of you individually or together to more completely explain your own documents, as well as tour Schenley with you and facilities personnel to point out these items. If you are interested my contact information is included below.
Thirty years ago this school district rushed to embrace the latest in educational trends and wasted tens of Millions on open class rooms & windowless schools. Concepts which have proven to be a failure. There is no emergency. The sky is not falling. Don’t be fooled by fancy names and feel good salesmanship. Ask for all the data. Ask for the cost benefit analysis of all the options studied. Take the time to get all the information and make an informed decision.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Nicholas D. Lardas
Monday, February 18, 2008
Public comment delivered to Pgh Public School Board and Administration: Schenley High School can stay open
From moments ago, a fellow parent delivered these comments to the Board of Ed and the Administration in public comment. Nick's son and my son are school mates and team mates at Frick Middle School.