Tuesday, June 24, 2008

P-G coverag of last nights meetings -- part 2 -- Parents were told to leave the building!

Schenley No. 1 topic at meeting
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A leader of the Save Schenley movement last night made a last-ditch appeal to save the Pittsburgh Schenley High School building, but Pittsburgh Public Schools officials again insisted the structure isn't safe.
Okay -- for the sake of discussion -- let's say Schenley isn't safe today. Then what? I was pleased to hear the questions that came from Mrs. Hazuda about fixing Schenley. The fact that Schenley isn't safe is one thing. But, none within the administration are trying to fix it. She wanted to know how it could be done to make Schenley safe into the future. Good questions. But they were not interested. They said -- well, you know, you've got to get building permits to do that. Like building permits are a deal breaker.

Board member Theresa Colaizzi, angry that Mr. Lardas was given time to speak, stalked from the room and returned after he had finished.
Childish, to say the least.

Mr. Lardas said the reports, commissioned by the district, show that the building remains safe for students and that there's no widespread collapse of asbestos-containing plaster. But district officials said the architects and engineers repeatedly have told them that the district no longer can risk exposing students and staff to asbestos.

Mr. Roosevelt and Paul Gill, the district's chief operations officer, said the qualifications of their industrial hygienists and other experts trumped those of Mr. Lardas, a civil engineer and contractor.

"He's not an expert in this field," Mr. Roosevelt said.
Aim arrow. Shoot messenger. Great for you Mr. Roosevelt.

The asbestos in the walls isn't going anywhere. It does not make a danger.
Board members Mark Brentley Sr. and Randall Taylor assailed Education Committee Chairman Thomas Sumpter, who presided at the workshop, for using the first 90 minutes to list and rank members' concerns about improving the district's high schools.

The pair wanted to spend the time asking administrators about Schenley and other high-school issues up for a vote tomorrow.

"What kind of game are we playing here?" Mr. Brentley said.

Mr. Taylor said the listing and ranking of concerns on large sheets of paper was a "filibuster" designed to prevent discussion of controversial issues. When Mr. Sumpter asked him to rank the concerns written on the sheets, Mr. Taylor said, "Hand me a couple of darts, and I'll throw them over there."

Mr. Sumpter said the board was divided into "two camps" on Schenley. He said some of his colleagues didn't understand that the workshop was intended to be an exercise in policy analysis, not a "rabble-rousing" session or forum for discussing Schenley exclusively.

Before the workshop, about six parents and other supporters held a news conference outside district offices to protest the proposed merger of the middle-grade and high-school arts schools. Among other complaints, the group said there wouldn't be enough space in the Downtown building to accommodate both schools.

Because of rain, the group tried to meet inside board offices but were told to leave.
Joe Smydo can be reached at jsmydo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1548.

Nothing is more telling than that. Parents were told to leave!


Anonymous said...

Mark, I believe I will make more of an effort to attend the meeings like the workshop. I would be interested to see the priority list
and compare it against one I will make.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Silly me, I didn't take a photo of the notes from last night and Mr. Tom S's scribbles.