Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Reizenstein school's 'redesign' estimate at $50 million - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Told ya.

This is insane.
Reizenstein school's 'redesign' estimate at $50 million - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The cost to fix Reizenstein School in East Liberty is estimated as high as $50 million, casting doubt over its long-term future in Pittsburgh Public Schools.
We MUST DEMAND that a WHOLISTIC -- and I mean the WHOLE VIEW -- approach must be taken to the high school reform agenda.

Mark Roosevelt is out of control. The crisis and rush, rush, rush sillyness is costing us great opportunities and delivering trash that is very, very expensive.

The fix-up of Schenley High School is needed. We need a prudent fix up.

To remove the asbestos at Schenley would cost about $10-million.

Furthermore, Reizenstein was a failed middle school. The building does not have any windows. The windows at Schenley are new! Reizenstein does not have an auditorium. Schenley's theater space is wonderful.

Nothing should be spend on Reizenstein. That property should be sold. It sits next to a new development, Bakers Square. They don't need and should not want a public school there. It would be a valued bit of property that can be sold for much better uses. It can fetch some good income for the district and that money can be spent to fix-up Schenley High School.

And, while we are at it -- let's sell the Board of Education Building in Oakland.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By Bill Zlatos
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

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The cost to fix Reizenstein School in East Liberty is estimated as high as $50 million, casting doubt over its long-term future in Pittsburgh Public Schools.

A school district official said the high estimate was provided by Al Filoni, president of the Downtown architectural firm McLachlan Cornelius & Filoni.

"He kicked around some numbers at Reizenstein that we thought were extremely high," said Paul Gill, the district's chief operating officer. "He said around $50 million to do Reizenstein correctly. The previous highest number was $35 million."

The city school board had approved moving the Schenley High School students in grades 9-11 to Reizenstein this fall because of asbestos problems at Schenley in Oakland. The board is scheduled to vote June 25 on whether to move the middle school international studies program from Frick in Oakland and the International Baccalaureate and international studies program from Schenley to Reizenstein, beginning in fall 2009.

District officials have retreated from making any long-term commitment to Schenley because of high estimates on the cost of renovating it.

"Our folks think it's $30 million plus," said city schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt. "That's why we're not ready to embrace a figure for Reizenstein. Needless to say, it's still much higher than we expected or wanted, and that's caused us not to say that Reizenstein will be the permanent home of the IB (program)."

Roosevelt said renovation of the school would virtually "redesign" it, providing natural light with new windows, a new auditorium, interior walls and an updated mechanical system.

"You get the whole package," he said.

Built in 1975, the 233,000-square-foot Reizenstein served as a middle school in East Liberty until it was closed two years ago. The board voted to reopen it because of asbestos concerns at Schenley.

Roosevelt has recommended closing Schenley at the end of the school year because of an estimated $76.2 million cost to update its mechanical systems and remove asbestos.

Roosevelt will appoint a committee in July to recommend a permanent home for the International Baccalaureate program. That panel will make its suggestion by November.

Roosevelt said he was "skeptical at this point in time, but not decided" that Reizenstein could be the permanent home for the program.

The district has committed spending $3 million to $5 million to modify the former middle school for high school students. Even though the remodeled Reizenstein might be open only four years, Roosevelt insists that the millions spent to ready it as a temporary high school will be worth it.

"That's a modest amount for four years of use by this population," Roosevelt said.

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