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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Plan to Bulldoze Elementary School Revealed

Pave Anna Yates & Put Up a Parking Lot

A Community Schools Task Force plan, discussed Monday night, to bulldoze Emeryville's Elementary School and replace it with a parking lot has been clandestinely revealed to the Tattler today.  The plan to bulldoze Anna Yates Elementary School is one of three options the Full Service Community Schools Task Force also known as the Six Site Task Force is considering.  Despite the Tattler and any other blogs and local electronic media remaining on a School District black list, with the Community Schools Task Force members under a gag order not to discuss what goes on at their meetings with the corrupting influence of the fourth estate, the Tattler has nonetheless obtained documents distributed at Monday night's task force meeting.  A person who wished to remain anonymous delivered the documents to the Tattler.

Below are the documents obtained from Monday's meeting:

The third document listed above is of particular interest.  First, it differs from the document distributed in advance of the meeting as part of the packet. Key documents were omitted from that packet and only distributed at the meeting itself. What was in these last minute documents?  Most interesting are the pages describing three possible scenarios for future uses of the Anna Yates Elementary and the City Recreation Center sites. Scenario #3 is a real eye-catching design, as seen below:

Scenario #3 discussed at the Full Service Community Task Force Meeting on July 29, 2013.
Parking lots, shown in gray, cover current Recreation Center site and most of Anna Yates site.

That's right. In this proposal under discussion at Monday night's meeting is the idea of bulldozing the main Anna Yates building and the Rec Center, paving over them both, including the Anna Yates basketball courts and field, and replacing them with... wait for it... 166 parking spots.

What can you say? The School District and its well-paid consultants have no shortage of brilliant ideas. And to the consultant MKThink, it only cost $7,700 per meeting to generate fascinating recommendations such as these. The Tattler is told that $7700 paid for more than these option ideas at Monday's meeting, apparently pizza and beverages were also served.

Of course, if Task Force members weren't forbidden from talking to bloggers, then perhaps the Tattler could place this document in the fuller context in which it was discussed.  The Tattler might learn that this scenario was not seriously proposed, but merely put forth as one extreme from which members could work.  But with the gag order in effect, we'll never know.  The "guiding principles" of the Task Force don't seek to create an informed citizenry through honest and open dialogue.  Instead, it's barely-disclosed documents at semi-private meetings... that's the authentic community engagement the District's consultants say they provide.
With apologies to Joni Mitchell:

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'Til it's gone
They paved Anna Yates
And put up a parking lot


  1. Have no fear, the "parking lot" option was not seriously proposed or considered for one minute. It was immediately dismissed - and yes, it was only included in the presentation as an extreme example intended to be "discussion provoking".
    As a committee member, I'm more than happy to share what we've been discussing or any documents.

    1. It looks like the gag order is failing, busting out all over; another fearless citizen, who obviously has a different view of 'citizen engagement' than the School District, emerges. Thanks for this and please do keep us informed.

  2. Parking lot for what? The card club workers to use? Frankly they park on 41st, litter, and smoke all the time. Why give them an extra lot to trash (and lets face it the whole street sweeping is a joke!). Pack and Save? People to loiter and make drug deals? Ugg--as someone who lives across the street from the front door to Anna Yates, this is a horrible solution (ok I think the whole idea of a new k-12 school is horrible too)! Is a big parking lot what this neighborhood needs? Is that going to make it family friendly? This is just a bad idea all around!

  3. Oh, that's a clever reworking of Joni's song, and completely in the spirit. And that the "Paradise" that they're considering paving over is the elementary school that our children go to is just...wrong.

  4. I am still thinking about the proposal to maintain the K-5 grades at the Anna Yates site. So far, I'm thinking that the middle school should began at the 6th grade level, and be located at the ECCL site.
    The 4th and 5th grades plus a resource room, copier, computer labs, and art supplies should be housed on the second level at Anna Yates school site. Additionally, the 2nd and 3rd grades with their resources should be located at the lower level modules there. The Kindergarten and First grade classes should stay where they are and use the copier room for their resource room. The library and the computer lab should remain on campus and be apart of an after school program that involves intensive reading, writing, with research and technology opportunities for grades 2 to 5.