Friday, June 15, 2012

Schenley/ Now it's not the asbestos, it's the "crashing plaster"

On another post Anonymous wrote:
Asbestos and the End of Schenley High

To quote the story: "It turns out Schenley’s plaster only contained trace amounts of asbestos."


Questioner said...

What about the crashing gym ceiling at Woolslair; or the crashing plaster that fell in the Peabody auditorium two years ago; or the plaster that fell at Allderdice before that?

The fact is that ALL the old buildings have occasional falling plaster; no one has shown that the plaster at Schenley falls more than anywhere else; and in any event Mark Roosevelt and the Board were presented with a solution for falling plaster: remove the ceiling plaster.

The ceiling was removed at McKelvey, a building with extensive asbestos plaster, and the same thing could be done at Schenley. At the time of closing the costs were estimated at a few million; most likely it would be doable now for $5 or $6 million. Real money, but money that would be more than offset by students who would choose Schenley and save the district the cost of charter and cyber payments for those students.

Questioner said...

Be sure to see the comments to the EPR story included in the link above.

Speaking of Essential Public Radio, the station was contacted in advance of this story and offered the benefit of research and investigation done by those outside PPS and those working for PPS. No response, apparently they don't want to know. How disillusioning in terms of the way we view EPR and NPR.

Anonymous said...

What a disappointment.....even though it was stated that the plaster contained less than 1% asbestos and the problem was actually the "falling plaster", the quoted astronomical renovation costs were actually for complete asbestos abatement. Most older buildings have some plaster and asbestos issues that can be repaired. It is interesting that the people who discussed the situation at Schenley High School, contacted for this story, were either connected to the PPS- and may have had a political agenda- and a Dan Davis, from an unnamed engineering firm. I expected much more from an NPR affiliate, and hoped for a well investigated story that did not just extend the misconceptions that closed this majestic school and subjected the students from the Hill District to a substandard, segregated school experience.

Anonymous said...

Ummm, who will be contacting the various firms who assesed the potential dangers to ask for a refund of their stinkin' fees?

Anonymous said...

I am encouraging others to comment on the story by Larkin Page-Jacobs. If there is enough interest, maybe there will actually be a real investigation!!!!

Anonymous said...

The evidence is overwhelming that there is NO WAY to influence decisions coming from Bellefield Avenue UNLESS it comes from Broad/Gates or a highly-paid external consultancy.

Pittsburghers have been stripped of any influence or decision-making capacity when it involves PPS.

There is NO ONE with power or influence in this city that has the courage to take a stand on behalf of our children. (Reminds you of the Penn State situation, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Wow. The destruction of a great rarity a fuctioning high school.What does this say about Mark Roosevelt, Bill Isler and the firm Astorino, which I am sure dan Davis works for, which was $500,000 to say the asbestos was a danger.

The article was also disingenuous when it said the buildiong STILL needed 55-80 million worth of work. Who said the heating and cooling needed replacing.

This was a great fraud perpetrated on this city and our students.
Is there no one to be held to account for taking the Schenley experience from the many students who would have attended it in the future

Anonymous said...

So interesting. Larkin Paige Jacobs is the long time girlfriend of Sam Franklin who is in charge of the teacher effectiveness office for the district. They have been together for years, long before Sam Franklin was hired by the district.

Anonymous said...

The department he works for is Gates pet project.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I went to the site and posted after the story:

But, PPS did not build a new building for $30-million. Rather, it spend more than $5-million to fix up Reizenstein that is going to be rubble with bulldozers in a matter of hours. Furthermore, additional millions were spend to move the robotics program at Schenley to Peabody and then again out of Peabody again. Now the robotics magnet is really dead. Killed by neglect. Opportunities evaporated.

The community site evaluation plan for the IB program was not allowed to consider Schenley. And, it did select Peabody if there were a lot of conditions that could occur -- and none of those conditions are coming to pass.

Finally for me, now, in the wake of this hook-line-and-sinker story above, the swim pool and gym spaces at Schenley are perfectly fine. They should be used as they have been greatly needed. Its use would add value to the building and the city. Students from U-Prep and Sci-Tech could walk to Schenley for after-school sports. Both schools have poor facilities as per standards for a high school. Both schools could use their existing facilities for the middle school grades as both are now with grades 6 to 12. These schools with grades 6-12 need sports facilities for the middle school teams (boys and girls) as well as the freshmen, JV and Varsity teams (both boys and girls). Otherwise, the students, and in turn society, fails in learning how to play well with others.

Anonymous said...

The price of the Reizenstein sale is the biggest travesty. The district needs money and yet "gave" this property away. I wonder if someone at PPS "benefited" from this deal??

Will the taxpayers ever get an external unbiased audit of PPS spending?

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious these days that in all forms of government--including the educational establishment--there is a great deal of corruption that media simply is not interested in reporting. It's not juicy enough and entails too much research and unfortunately, the need for too much intelligence.

The reasons for closing Schenley amount to blatant lies.
The sale of the Reizenstein building is either a situation in which some deals were made, a great deal of corruption took place or simply, a situation n which PPS got snookered.

Sure, this kind of thing happens every day in every form of American life. It's just more painful in that it is the kids who suffer.