Speak Out: Objective investigation needed
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Jan 19, 2014 | 1010 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the Jacksonville Board of Education work session last week, the future location of Kitty Stone Elementary discussion continued. I was intrigued by the architect’s presentation indicating the number of acres required and the single-story structure design, but I was also intrigued by his inability to answer specific design questions posed related to the current Kitty Stone Elementary location. Although there was much said about the negative aspects of the temporaries that may have to be utilized in inclement weather, there was no mention of a phased construction with the use of some pods during the construction, the possible restoration of Forney Hall (“that abandoned dormitory”) and no indication how this project would be approached.

The board and superintendent had no fact-based answers about the long-term expense of bussing and maintenance, demographics and geographic locations of the student population, as well as the disposition of the traffic study developed by the traffic planner familiar with the area. The comments about some of the buildings at the Kitty Stone Elementary campus being 75 years old were presented as a detriment when payment for recent remodeling and refurbishment continues.

I urge further objective investigation and development of plans for the Kitty Stone Elementary site. Utilizing this site would result in an admitted $2.5 million to $3 million in savings and would allow for future planning of a new middle school. Doing this in the reverse may lead to the debilitation of the buildings at Kitty Stone Elementary. This is an issue that can make or break our city center.

Jerry L. Klug
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Saturday, April 19, 2014