Tuesday, February 26, 2008

City Limits: The RSD

Karen Gadbois makes a critical link.

Paul Vallas unveils two new members of his entourage...

NEW ORLEANS , La . - The Recovery School District and the Orleans Parish School Board are pleased to announce that Parsons, a management and planning firm, and Concordia, LLC., an architecture and planning firm, located in New Orleans, have been selected to develop the new School Facilities Master Plan (SFMP) for public schools in Orleans Parish.


Why don't we meet one of them?

Rebuilding failures by one of the most heavily criticized companies working in Iraq, the American construction giant Parsons, were much more widespread than previously revealed and touched on nearly every aspect of the company's operation in the country, according to a report released by a federal oversight agency.

Previous reports by federal inspectors and by news organizations had identified numerous examples of construction failures in Parsons projects in Iraq, including dozens of uncompleted or shoddily built health care clinics and border forts, as well as disastrous sewage and plumbing problems at the Baghdad police academy that left parts of it unusable.


Again, this link will give you contact information for people at the RSD.
Apply pressure now. What are the terms of the contract with Parsons?

A ten year plan by these guys?

RSD, explain.

The other day, I wrote to the RSD regarding my concerns regarding the Master Plan and the public planning process.

The ongoing community engagement meetings are occurring as the RSD simultaneously moves forward with demolitions of schools. In other words, the RSD already has a master plan in place and the public participation process is only as good as the cold coffee and cheap tray of refreshments you are so gracious to provide.


I contacted the RSD via email. I tip my hat to their timely response:

The Recovery School District has requested and received from the city permits to demolish eight substantially damaged school buildings, meaning they have been deemed by FEMA to be more than 51 percent damaged.

The district also is demolishing 77 storm-damaged modular buildings on 20 campuses. Permits were requested and granted for these demolitions.

These are the extent of demolition requests and permits granted.

The purpose of these demolitions is to remove unsightly buildings that are unsafe and a blight on the community.


The Master Plan will guide future school renovations and replacements, and public comment is being sought through a series of meetings (still underway) on what these schools should look like, where new buildings will be needed going forward, and where schools will not be needed. The Master Plan It is expected to be completed in May. It will be a 10-year plan.


Hmm.

I'm sorry. Already that's not good enough.

For instance, you're demolishing this school.


Why?

I'm a little concerned as to what areas of the city are locations "where schools will not be needed."

Questionable...

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