Thursday, March 14, 2013

Future of School 16 surveyed

Posted By on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Tonight, Rochester schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas will tell members of the school board which district buildings, including schools, he wants included in the second phase of the long-term project to overhaul and modernize the RCSD's infrastructure.

The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at the district’s central office, 131 West Broad Street.

I’ll be curious to learn Vargas's recommendation for School 16 in the 19th Ward neighborhood. Vargas has been steadfast in his view that School 16 is beyond saving: that the cost of renovating the building exceeds its value.

But 19th Ward parents and residents have been waging a tireless campaign to have the school remodeled and reopened. They even took it upon themselves to conduct a community survey, which is available at www.location19.org.

About 245 people responded to the survey, and the results are pretty consistent with what residents have been telling Vargas for months:

79 percent said School 16 should be renovated and reopened.
82 percent said School 16 should be a K to 6 schools, but 78 percent would support a pre-K program at the school.

Nearly half of the respondents left comments, and there was an overwhelming view that School 16 should be a community school, an anchor for the neighborhood. Closing the school would harm the neighborhood, they said.

A small but significant number of respondents said district officials had “betrayed” them by neglecting the required building maintenance at School 16.

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