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Friday, June 15, 2012

Center Of Community Life Design Workshops Postponed

Center Of Community Life Stalls
Project Slams Headlong Into Reality

The School District announced this week the postponement of the next two design workshops for the Center of Community Life slated for June and July.  The considerable tenacity of the Center of Community Life has finally met a more powerful force than itself; insult after insult failed to derail the ten-years-in-the-making schools / community center project until this week when School District and City Hall backers finally halted the project in response to the loss of $21 million from the former Emeryville Redevelopment Agency.

The School District and the Center of Community Life has been beset with ill fortune over the last year; from the failure of Emeryville's assessed valuation to keep pace with the bond counsel's sunny prediction to the defection of the teachers and their vote of no confidence in the Superintendent to the resignation of the School Board president and the Citizens' Oversight Committee president to the rising of a nascent grassroots citizen's group to save Anna Yates Elementary School and now the state's ruling against allowing $21 million to be released to help build the community center part of the project.

District officials told the Tattler yesterday the June and July Center of Community Life design workshops have been postponed because of uncertainty about the project after the state ruling on the $21 million several weeks ago.

The city's plunging assessed valuation dropped the bond raising capacity from $95 million to $40 million last October, robbing the Center of more than half it's anticipated funds.  Project officials soldiered on, explaining the loss of funds would only make the building process take longer.  Until this week, they said they would build in phases as Emeryville's valuation improved, allowing the disbursement of more of the voter approved Measure J bond money.  Now the loss of the $21 million on top of the assessed valuation losses seems to have finally been the nail in the coffin.

The taxpayers are still on the hook to repay the millions of dollars spent so far on architects, community engagement and consultants for the Center of Community Life, regardless of what finally gets built.

District officials insist the Center of Community Life project is still going to somehow move forward, they just need time to re-adjust and re-apprise.

1 comment:

  1. Does the city and school district have a gamblers mentality where all has to be lost and gone before they have realized what has happened? How is the school district going to reclaim all the students that they have lost recently due to the poor execution of their plans and now the total distrust of parents and teachers? Is the school district now locked into the lease for the Santa Fe Elementary school for millions more wasted taxpayers dollars and our highschoolers doomed to be degraded such a poor school? They say they are transparent but they knew a month ago that this deal is dead, and that is why they did not ever schedule the workshops. From this point on, let us make our leaders be personally accountable and fully responsible for any more wasted taxpayers dollars.