Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hard numbers haunt district: City schools' debt $476 million - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Hard numbers haunt district: City schools' debt $476 million - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Hard numbers haunt district: City schools' debt $476 million
Reactions welcomed in comments. My thoughts later today.

Running to city council now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is today the last day of classes at Schenley?
By Bill Zlatos
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Buzz up!
Post to MySpace!
StumbleUpon Toolbar

The last bell might have rung today on Schenley High School in Oakland.

School dismissed at 11:10 a.m. after freshmen, sophomores and juniors had taken their final exams. Seniors already had their last day of classes.

The city school board will decide June 25 whether to close the venerable school. Superintendent Mark Roosevelt had recommended shutting it down because of the $76.2 million estimate for updating its mechanical systems and removing asbestos.

For many students, the finality of the occasion has not yet sunk in.

story continues below

"It hasn't really hit me yet," said Tariq Stephens, 16, a sophomore from Beltzhoover. "But I know, at the end of the day, it's going to be crazy, because it'll be the last time I see the inside of this building."

Even if the board chooses to keep the school open, Schenley students who will be in grades 10-12 this fall will be assigned to Reizenstein School in East Liberty because Schenley would be under renovation.

The students would get to graduate with a Schenley diploma.

"It's awkward, because I don't want to go to Reizenstein," said Melissa Ford, 16, a sophomore from Oakland. "I've been wanting to come to Schenley since I was in middle school. Schenley is right near my house."

The school has been educating students since 1916. Among its graduates are pop artist Andy Warhol, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Clifford Shull and NBA star Maurice Lucas.

Coral director Rick Finkelstein has taught music at Schenley for 14 years. He said today was a calm day, but his Schenley moment came May 28 when he was directing what may be the school's last spring concert.

"The hard part for me is when I had the choir sing the alma mater for the last time," he said. "Then it kind of hit me. After we were done, it was just quiet."

Many of the 1,127 students who go to Schenley praise its diversity. The school houses the International Baccalaureate and international studies programs, robotics and the standard curriculum.

"It's kind of sad -- the fact that we'll never be back here again," said Brooke Baumbeck, 15, a freshman from Lawrenceville. "It's just sad."

Bill Zlatos can be reached at bzlatos@tribweb.com or 412-320-7828.