Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Board considers $33-$55M to Reopen Connelly

From the PG, the board has discussed reopening Connelly for career and technical education (classroom training only, automotive would stay at Brashear). The current cost estimate is $33-$55M.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08338/932280-298.stm

It would be useful to know the student capacity for the building so that a cost per student figure could be calculated.

Of course, 3/4 of Schenley (1000 students) could be renovated for $60M (and due to lower labor and energy costs, that figure is probably lower now- work for contractors is way down).

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The article says that a health sciences program is to be added. Health is a growth field in Pittsburgh, but wouldn't it make sense to put the program near a hospital?

Anonymous said...

If the board decides to put money into Connelly, it would be a slap in the face to all of the community and professional advocates of Schenley, who volunteered countless hours to proving the wisdom and vision of keeping that building as a viable school building. Of course, it has been said, that money may not have been the only issue.

Anonymous said...

It seems interesting that the day after one of the strongest advocates of career tech is voted as president of the board, it is proposed to spend Schenley's money (there was $50 million in the budget that we were told could not be spent on bricks and mortar) on reopening Connelly. Crazy!

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should consider getting rid of the Board like they have recently done at Washington D.C. public schools. How really qualified are our board members to be making these types of decisions?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it also make sense to put the Health Science program at the Science and Technology School? What about combining Science & Technology School and the IB Program and putting it in Oakland by all the universities and hospitals. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to have those programs in a beautiful historic building like Schenley High School? Middle-class parents would flock to the city for a school with those offerings under one roof.

Anonymous said...

Having these wonderful programs in a central location- some combination of the Schenley and Frick buildings- would be a huge draw.

Why was there never a discussion of the "big plan" before piecemeal decisions were made?

Anonymous said...

That's what I want to know. Why is there not a vision for the entire district? It seems like someone has an idea and they implement it and then someone else has an idea and they implement that and at the same time there is no long-term planning and vision. Instead money is wasted, programs come and go and it's all a mess. Do others think this too?

Questioner said...

Many people feel this way, but we need to speak w/ an organized voice.

For ex at the public hearing.

Those who are interested, plse email to us at purereform@gmail.com

PPSparent said...

I think there is a vision, if not an actual PLAN, for what the district will look like. I think they have decided what schools will close, which will be themed, etc.

However, they know that they haven't laid any groundwork for these changes and that if everyone heard about them all at once, they'd be inundated with people wanting to have input and asking for things to be considered. That isn't what they want.

I also think that they've realized that they've bitten off a lot more than they can chew through between now and next September.

Opening four new or highly modified schools (opening Sci-tech as a 6-9, expanding UPrep from 9th grade to 6-10th grades, making Reizenstein the (temporary) home of a 6-10 IB school along with 2 "leftover"grades of Schenley and merging CAPA and Rogers into one facility), trying to get the "gifted pilot program" off the ground, and considering changes for Westinghouse, finally getting around to vo-tech...

all while not spending *any* more money.

From what I'm hearing, the options that parents are finding attractive are the new Sci-tech (but there are only going to be 50 6th grade slots, I believe) and Rogers/CAPA. It'll be interesting to see how well the sci-tech is implemented and what happens when parents realize that AP classes are not planned for that school (nor IB classes, of course).

Anyway, there's a lot on the table and they really can't be bothered with listening to suggestions that they actually tell us what they're aiming for at the district level -- how many schools? how many comprehensive high schools? where? etc.

Anonymous said...

Surprise! The central located themed schools are popular. Gee, why didn't anyone think of that ahead of time?