Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2007

Patron’s primary problem

March 15, 2007

Ongoing problems at the Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center have begun to frustrate Joanne Kite, a parent and substitute teacher at the building.

Kite, the BESPC representative for the Parent Teacher Organization, has attended several school board meetings to express her concerns about the primary center.

Baldwin School District Patron Joanne Kite outlines problems at
Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center at Monday's meeting. At
right is BESPC Principal Deb Ehling-Gwin.

Baldwin School District Patron Joanne Kite outlines problems at Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center at Monday's meeting. At right is BESPC Principal Deb Ehling-Gwin.

She went to Monday's meeting and once again wanted the board to know the problems need to be addressed.

"I want the primary center to stay on their mind," Kite said Tuesday. "We have so many issues that just haven't been addressed. Some of the problems have been going on much longer than I've been going to the board."

Kite brought several posters to Monday's meeting that included pictures of the problems at BESPC. She showed them to the school board members because she felt that was one way to get their attention.

"Last time I asked them to walk the building, but I know they are all busy and have jobs," Kite said. "I thought pictures could say a lot more than my words could."

Supt. Paul Dorathy thought the pictures were helpful in identifying the problems at the building.

"The parents brought in pictures of some of their concerns with the facility," Dorathy said. "I think that's always helpful to the board and myself. It gives me a chance to work with maintenance so they can see the specific concerns and address them."

Kite cited many examples of problems at the meeting, many of which were included in the pictures. She said the major problem is the heating and cooling, because every room fluctuates temperature and the window units are a hassle to deal with.

She also mentioned several cracked windows and bathrooms where the water doesn't shut off. Kite said the art and computer rooms were flooded and need major repairs. Both of those rooms are west of the multi-purpose room, downstairs near the cafeteria.

The other problems Kite mentioned were outside the building. She said the asphalt needs resurfaced and several pieces of playground equipment are being held together by duct tape.

"I just wonder if we are on the radar screen to have something done with the bond issue," Kite said.

The school board has been discussing a bond issue for a few months. The vote could take place in November or April 2008, but no date has been set yet.

The board hired the DLR Group in February to be the architectural firm for the district. DLR has begun conversations with Dorathy about the bond issue.

Dorathy knows that BESPC will be looked at when it comes time to make a decision about facilities.

"The primary center is definitely one of the areas we are going to look at for facilities," Dorathy said. "It is the oldest building in the district. It probably has more challenges with the building than any other. I do think that's going to be a primary conversation."

He doesn't know whether the building will be renovated or a new building will be constructed. Dorathy said that decision will rest in the hands of the school board, but recommendations will be made by a facilities committee that will be formed during the next month.

"Whether the PC will actually be the thing that ends up on the bond issue, I don't know," Dorathy said. "I think it's going to be one of a couple of things that you end up considering.

"One idea is renovating the building, which puts a certain cost into an older building," he said. "I think that will be considered. It's whether you do that or should there be a new facility there? I think there are other concerns for facility things within the district that we need, but that's going to be for the committee to decide."

When asked if she preferred renovating the building or constructing a new one, Kite was torn between the two ideas.

"I don't know the answer, because I'm not sure what it would cost to fix the building up," Kite said. "I do know we love the location, because Baker students can come over and kids can ride their bikes to school. The location is wonderful. We feel like we are a part of the community."

The facilities committee will meet with DLR on April 11. That will be first meeting to discuss the future of the district facilities.

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