A witness to the latest school board meeting made these observations which I will offer up as an antidote to the codswallup we keep hearing from the District:
The road to the new Western Middle School that will “promote walkability and bikeability” is 3000 ft. The distance children must hike before being eligible to be bussed to a middle school is 1.5 miles. So the driveway is 38% of that distance! “Up to 150 students will potentially (!) walk to the Wheeler site-far more than any other site”
So what does that say about the other sites?
The design is incredibly non-descript, boring and dated. It looks like facilities designed long ago for wayward children.
The proximity to the railroad was dismissed by saying the new middle school isn’t as close to the tracks as Northwoods. That’s their measure of success? Middle school students will never play on the tracks. But if we’re wrong just put up a fence like the new one around Ordean. What a blot on the environment. All those people concerned about the Skyline View should be outraged, just as City Councilor Krause warned.
This district is on a power trip to redefine Duluth. There is now East/West. Equity. Dr. Dixon can’t say that word often enough. Well, if the West end schools have new kitchens then Ordean must have one too. But the bigger question is why wasn’t that included in the budget in the first place if that’s so critical? Now the Ordean kitchen will cost $2-3 milliion or more.
Dixon was like a late night TV hukster. Buy now in the next 30 minutes to get the best deal. Approve those bids. The Administrators and Board were falling all over themselves justifying the sealed bidding process. (Were they that concerned about proper procedure with JCI?). The puffery was a pre-emptive strike for what they know will follow once the public becomes aware of who receieved the work. There goes Nancy N’s stimulus package.
Its funny but the City is focusing on developing the city center just as the school district is abandoning it.