From an email sent out on Thursday, April 19th.
As you may know, last night the Governing Board met to consider plans to build a high school on the same grounds as the current K-8 school. The former plans to lease and renovate a site have met a roadblock because the cost to bring the building on 820 North up to code has become prohibitive. The only alternative the board is considering right now is to build a high school building on the current property. There were 14 people who spoke against it last night and only 7 people who spoke in favor of it. Most of the arguments for building were actually arguments in favor of a high school in general -- essentially, "we need a high school and since building here is the only option, let's do it."
Despite the vocal opposition to the plan, the board voted 5 to 2 to continue to negotiate and get a contract drafted with the builder. The next step from there would be to enter into that contract. From what I understand, entering a contract of that nature would require a 6 to 1 vote from the Governing Board.
We have major concerns with the plans to house high school students on the same grounds as K-8 students. We feel that it is important for the Governing Board to know that there is significant opposition to building at the current site.
Among other issues, these are some of our concerns:
* The issues involved in building on the current site have not been explored fully nor is there adequate time to make such a long-lasting decision before the 2012-2013 school year starts in just four months.
* The Governing Board has not adequately informed the parents or the neighborhood about this plan and has not invited sufficient public input.
* The impacts on the current K-8 model and students of expanding to a K-12 model on the same site have not been considered.
* The site is too small to accommodate 400 more students.
* There are already parking issues; these are sure to increase.
* The current site is in a residential neighborhood that cannot accommodate the increased traffic that a high school would entail.
* Housing upwards of 200 teenage drivers at the same site where a large group of elementary school students walk to school puts both children in the neighborhood and those who walk to school in physical danger.
* Housing 400 teenagers on the same site as elementary school students brings risks to those young children including:
* Possible Assaults or Molestation
* Exposure to inappropriate language and behavior
Please join us in expressing these concerns to the Board Members. We have started a petition to oppose building on the current site. You can sign that petition here. When you sign the petition, an email will be sent directly to the governing board. If you would also like to send an additional email, you may contact Freedom Academy's Governing Board at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be civil and keep in mind that this isn't about opposing the high school expansion; this is about opposing the high school expansion on the current site.
Please forward this on to other concerned parents and neighbors.
Aaron and Christina Bartholomew