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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Letter to the Tattler: Donn Merriam

The following letter was received from Donn Merrian, candidate for Emery School Board of Trustees on November 4th:

To The People of Emeryville,

I've made Emeryville my home for almost four years now.  I've enjoyed living here and want to contribute to the community in a way that could best utilize my expertise and to insure successful completion of the most important endeavor the community will embark upon, the building of the Emeryville Center of Community Life.

As an licensed Architect with more than 20 years of experience in the design and construction of public K-12 schools, I've observed how schools work on a day to day basis, how staff and students interact, and how an administration works to achieve their goals. 

One of the most recent projects I was involved with was the DeAnza High School replacement campus in the West Contra Costa Unified School District.  That project was similar in scope to our ECCL project; a complete school replacement and enhancement of the entire campus.

Prior to the start of project, enrollment was approximately 800 students with a possibility of closure.  After its completion, enrollment is 1300 (full capacity) with a diverse student body and a waiting list to attend.

This is a prime example of what a new school can do.

Emery Schools Superintendent, Dr. John Rubio was gracious to invite me to the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the ECCL.  While there, I could feel the group's excitement with turning the first shovel of earth.  However, there's a long road ahead of us that we want to make as smooth as possible.

Wanting to make sure we're on that road, I've initiated a review of the project and have discovered several items that are of concern and have presented them to the School Board.

    The elevator shaft in the Main Classroom Building is too small for the Code specified sized elevator cab (must be able to fit a medical gurney for emergency use).
    The restroom in the same building does not meet code for equal number of plumbing fixtures between men and women toilet rooms.
    In an emergency, exiting the Second Grade classrooms from the second floor of the Main Classroom Building is confusing, dangerous, and possibly non-code complying.

Those are just a few of the issues that if left unaddressed will have serious ramifications. 

There has to be someone on the Board to ask the right questions. 

If given the opportunity, as a member of the Board I would take the same approach on all other matters that would be encountered.


Donn Lee Merriam

Donn Merriam is a candidate for Emery School Board this election cycle.  He has been a homeowner resident of Emeryville since early 2011.  Donn is a licensed architect 14 years with Deems Lewis McKinley, an architectural firm based in San Francisco that specializes in K-12 school design.  He has had  experience with numerous school districts throughout the Bay Area in his capacity as a school site planner. His campaign website is HERE

1 comment:

  1. reminds me of the elevator when the new classrooms were added to anna yates several years ago. they kept it locked to prevent students (and teachers) from using it.

    it is an egregious "oversight" when mr. merriam can list two non code complying and one possible non code complying issues. surely turner construction and even departed roy miller should be aware of the building code.