Conversation Paused on the Future of Greenacres School

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greenacresschoolHas the conversation about the future of the Greenacres School come to a pause or a halt? In a September 29 email to the community, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Hagerman cited cost concerns about already-approved district projects and a polarized community as reasons to take a pause in the discussion about the future of the hundred year-old school. His email outlines some next steps but offers no timeline for a decision.

It was initially thought that the administration would make a recommendation for renovating or rebuilding the school by December 2016 in time for a community-wide vote a bond referendum in May 2017. However, as of now, there is no promise of a concrete proposal from the administration or a date to expect it.

When Dr. Hagerman announced his decision at the September 12, 2016 Board of Education meeting, some board members expressed a desire to have a discussion about the options so that the administration and board could take a leadership position and build community support for their proposal. But for now, the issue is off the board's agenda, precluding any input from Board of Education members and discouraging feedback from the community.

We asked a few community members what they thought about the pause and here is what they shared:

Rona Muntner:

"I hope that this pause allows the board to focus the decision on what is best for the children of Greenacres for the next 100 years."

Jon Kirsbergh:

"While I was initially taken aback by the announcement, I think Dr. Hagerman and the School Board made a responsible decision to take the time to re-focus the debate. Given the heated discussions that have surrounded the issue, I am hopeful the Board and Administration will use the time to explain to the community the goals it hopes to achieve with the project and how the various options under consideration do, or do not, achieve those goals. The Board and Administration are poised to take control of the process and are ready to lead the community toward a solution that provides for a facility that is in the best interests of the students of today and the future."

Xue Su:

"I think Dr. Hagerman and the school administration have made a wise decision to take a "pause" in the discussions about GA. Both the BoE and Dr. Hagerman have repeatedly expressed their commitment to upgrade GA school, but the funding to implement the plan needs to be approved by the whole village and it will set an example for the future upgrading of other school buildings in the district. I applaud the school administration enhancing communication with the community by sharing information through e-newsletter and I hope a well-designed final plan for the coming bond vote will be supported by the whole village."

What do you think? Use the comments section below to share your thoughts.