Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

PUSD Community Workshop

Posted by drewbendon on December 15, 2007

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the PUSD Seismic workshop on December 8, 2007.

A summary report of the discussion from the workshop is available on the PUSD Bond website:  http://pusdbond.org/public/community.html.

Below are Dana Serleth’s notes on the presentation made by the meeting facilitator to the School Board at their meeting on December 12, 2007.

Review of 12/8 Community Workshop: feedback plus co-vision data plus electronic version of the workbook will be posted at the bond web site in the next 48 hours. June recapped goals for the meeting, conveying her feeling that they had been met: understand community priorities, allow the community to understand the issues and trade-offs inherent in decisions going forward. Gina Bartlett presented a power point summary of her observations. It was not distributed, but here’s what i captured from the slides and what she said

  • 85 attendees + 15+ others from board, TAC, staff, consultants
  • participants absorbed how much work the district has done and the complexity associated with bond decisions
  • participants enjoyed workshop and provided rich input. outreach ensured good representation of community interests (parents from dif schools, staff, students, neighbors, seniors, residents w/o children) — participants were mixed at tables
  • community supports a moderate to moderately comprehensive approach to the bond work, and urges prudent use of funds
  • safety, post-quake use of buildings (preparedness) and educational program were the most important issues to community members
  • next set of issues: adhering to measure E bond language, cost, (mitigating ?) structural deficiencies / earthquake prep
  • support to “do red (coded) buildings now”
  • some ambiguity about maintenance buildings — built beginning of understanding about link to responding after a quake
  • community supports strengthening Group 2 (yellow coded) buildings NOW rather than after a quake (72%) … 12% say wait, 16% unsure
  • maximize state funding and minimize cost escalation but continue a phased approach to minimize disruption (cake and eat it too!)
  • lacking consensus on Havens. Most favor a non-rebuild option, but significant support exists for exploring the rebuild option.
  • came out in the comments that community participants support “master” planning for the district and tying City and School District planning together (my editorial: this surprised Gina, because it is the one thing that came out int he comments that wasn’t on the list in the workbook — and there were a significant number of comments in this regard. She was unclear what kind of planning was being advocated — for individual buildings, the district …. )

Several board members and members of the public commented that they hoped this would be a starting point for a new level of community engagement, rather than a one-time thing or finishing point. One member of the public (who has made several past comments wondering why Havens presents such a big issue), noted that this “elephant in the room” keeps coming up and needs to be resolved. He suggested to the board that there be some kind of a meeting to flesh out what are all the issues with Havens, and expressed a sincere lack of understanding about why those closest to Havens are not simply satisfied with a retrofit option. Another speaker also suggested a meeting (like the 12/8 meeting) be focused explicitly on the issue of Havens.

Project Process/Schedule Presentation: John presented possible timeline scenarios for three levels of projects in the program, a simple one, a more typical one, and a complicated one. Havens was the sample complex one. IT is labelled a “replacement project” and John’s sense of the timing is: shortest possible = 4.5 years, longest = 6.5 years. I didn’t understand fully what was happening here, because this was NOT about building a new school. He indicated that would add to the 6.5 years — for financing and increased role of the state.

Board Initial Discussion of Program Approach and Direction to Superintendent: There were very good comments from the board — too many to list here. Roy presented a decision tree idea to the rest of the group — I missed this (following out of the meeting the two who spoke abotu more input on HAvens) so I will have to ask Roy for more info and get it to you later. Cathie suggested creating some sort of decision matrix. She also expressed her concern about a two track strategy: if some red/”no-brainer” projects are started immediately (before determining a scope and sequence for the whole program) while important projects requiring more planning are put off until planning can be completed (i.e. Havens), we need to have some way of making sure we reserve enough money to get all needed work done. Ray presented a list of four questions he’d like posed to the TAC for their feedback — that also serve as a way of looking at the big decisions (perhaps a start to a decision matrix). Ward was struck by the high level of agreement about the “yellow” buildings, and lack of consensus about Havens. He wondered why people are not moved by the current hybrid solution, which he sees as a good compromise, and wonders if we could develop a more compelling hybrid solution (I commented that I thought this and the planning issue were linked). June did a great summary and linked all the conversation back to the “guidelines”.If there is anyone else who did attend the workshop, please comment.


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