An interactive session to figure out how will be renovated continues tonight at 5:30.
The meeting will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, June 7, in the Conference Center at the , 4748 Beneva Road in Sarasota.
The first meeting held Wednesday is an open forum for parents, school district staff, business leaders, neighbors and other community members to examine the issues involved; to learn what needs to be done to update the campus; to look at some proposed site plans and to express their expectations and concerns.
"Strong support was expressed for the options that would keep the breezeways open and repurpose the old “west gym” as a media center or lunchroom. But these options would cost $1.2 to $1.5 million extra, and the budget constraints are indisputed.
The main objections to the proposed options came from teachers, including longtime baseball coach Clyde Metcalf. Although the charrette was titled “It’s All About the Students,” he said that architects and preservationists who were there to champion the original design of Building 4 were not giving enough consideration to student needs and welfare.
“I want to know why they are not tearing down Building 4,” he told me. “We went to school there and it was not good then.” Said another person at his table, “Because the school board made a deal. They are not allowed to tear it down.” That, a reference to the controversy surrounding the demolition of Riverview High School’s Paul Rudolph-designed building several years ago. The school board pledged at that time to renovate Rudolph’s SHS Building 4, not demolish it."
The second meeting will be a working session at which participants will be divided into several teams. Each team will include representatives of the various stakeholder groups involved in the process. The teams will be asked to evaluate four site plans already proposed and any others that may develop from the information presented at the first meeting.
The teams will report out their conclusions and suggestions. The larger group will rank the plans in order of preference and attempt to reach consensus on a plan that incorporates the various interests represented. The goal will be to propose a plan that all concerned parties can accept.
A PDF of the three proposed design is found to the right of the article.