Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Miffed Schenley students 'making do'" at Reizenstein

This front page article pretty much nails it.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09003/939342-298.stm

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here's what the IB website has to say about Reizenstein:

"This site is located right in the heart of exciting new housing and residential developments."

In other words, the move away from world class museums and universities is nothing that a little spin can't solve.

Or that a little (purple and orange) paint can't solve when people are accustomed to the cracked plaster and chipped paint in many buildings that are not "new" schools.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping students will post on this topic and just in case I have some questions. I would like to know about the science labs mentioned in the article. I was under the impression most schools, due to budgeting, were eliminating the science labs. What does Schenley offer?

What musical will Schenley be doing this year?

Who on earth approved the building of a school with paper-thin walls? In my limited experience, elementary kids are far better at using "inside voices" than high school kids. Or middle school kids.

Questioner said...

The article notes that supporters dispute the amount of the repair estimate.

To resolve this issue once and for all it would make sense to have an independent arbitrator review all information on

1) repair costs, including updates given the current economic climate (which has resulted in deep discounts in the costs of many goods and services),

2)what has been done and what costs were involved when other district buildings were found to contain asbestos, and

3)what type of funding might be available under the pending economic stimulus package.

justsayin said...

Playing devil's advocate here. The horse has left the barn. What number of millions is too many to restore Schenley even with all the millions coming from non-PPS coffers? If these tough economic times has taught any lesson could it be that we need to be prudent with spending? Again, no matter what the source of the dollars? Even if the PDE projections on enrollment paint the worst picture, should a little school district allow that much money to be spent?

Questioner said...

How much is too much? Well, looking at projects such as the 11M spent on Colfax recently- the per student cost is comparable the Schenley estimate. Further, we don't have a current, objective estimate of the cost to restore Schenley; and while we know that millions are expected to be spent on Peabody we don't know how many millions. Just to keep students temporarily at Reizenstein each year requires service on an 11k debt and loss of school tax revenues that would have been received if the property had been developed. And we do know that every student that chooses a charter or cyber school costs the district 12k/ year; so if each year just 25 students who would have gone to Schenley choose a charter school then 4 classes x 25 x 12k is $1.2M a year. Over 30 or more years that really adds up! And there are costs when students seeking a comprehensive school find a way to crowd into Allderdice. So a good, hard, objective look at the numbers is what we need.

Mark Rauterkus said...

This is bad news. The truth hurts. I don't think it can be sugar coated.

But, life goes on.

I've got a bunch of suggestions. Hard to make em in this little box.

Questioner said...

You can email them to PURE and we'll post them.

One suggestion right off may be- to make the lounge a real lounge. University Prep has furniture in their lounge space, so why not Schenley?

PPSparent said...

I don't know if the anonymous who said this: " I was under the impression most schools, due to budgeting, were eliminating the science labs. " is still around.

But, if you are, where did you hear this? That would be the death knell of college prep right there. The only reason I can imagine this even getting out there as a concept is something they may have said about sci-tech -- that is comparing the labs for that to what is out there now?

They did put in (well, I actually don't know if they are finished now or not, I assume they are) at least some new labs at Reizenstein. When I saw them early in the year though, they weren't ready to be used.

science1 said...

The topic of labs in comprehensive high schools was discussed around the time of open house earlier this year. A neighbor later mentioned to me that some PPS buildings already do not offer conventional science labs due to cost. I believe it was Brashear where they are already eliminated or in the process of being eliminated. I will do my best to follow up and report back here. To better communicate on the topic I will no longer be Anonymous.

Questioner said...

Letter to the editor in today's PG:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09008/940307-110.stm (fifth letter down).