Monday, December 2, 2013

Meany Middle School Design Advisory Team Meeting Report

(Here's a link to the official meeting report, with Debrah's submission at the end)

At this first meeting of the Meany Middle School Design Advisory Team, we met the other members of the team.  On the team besides Tami Broadhead, Anne Schwab,  and myself, there were two other neighbors members who are also parents; Anjali Grant and Anna Davidson.  They are now also aware of the Miller Park Neighbors group and the list serve and hope to attend future meeting.

The team is otherwise made up of a district project manager, teachers, staff, a principal, parents, a staff member of the community center, and 3 architects from the firm, Miller Hayashi Architects. 19 were in attendance.  This was the first planning  and programming meeting for Meany's renovation. It is from these meetings that the architects will develop the program and then the design for these buildings.

The budget is limited and much of it will go towards completion of the roofing work started several years ago, seismic upgrades, a fire sprinkler system, more efficient HVAC system, and new windows. The project will work within the existing structures which they hope to make better functioning and looking, including some improved landscaping and exterior features.  The schedule is pretty aggressive with plans to continue re-roofing this summer (2014), to move NOVA out the fall of 2015, the World School out the fall of 2016, and then re-open the Middle school fall of 2017 or winter 2018. 

The tone of the meeting was very positive and open to all concerns. The meeting notes captures some of that. In advance of the meeting we were sent the agenda and in response to the question, "How does the school interact with the surrounding neighborhood", I wrote a letter that attempts to summarize and list the concerns that the Miller Park Neighborhood  group has discussed.  We acknowledged that this renovation represents a rare opportunity to build not only a better building but also a better community.  At this meeting we discussed past grievances and ways to remedy those as part of this process. We stressed that parking, buses, and traffic are universal concerns.  Copies of my letter were handed out and it is included as an attachment in the meeting notes.

Our next meeting is December 17th to tour other renovated schools in the area. In January and February the team will meet with the architects 4 times to give feedback to early design ideas. In mid-February (date to be determined) there will be an open design meeting for the community to attend. Once the date is established the district and this list serve and blog will let you all know when and where this meeting will be. We encourage a good turn out of neighbors!  

If other issues surface before the February meeting that needs neighborhood response we will let you know. In the mean time take a look at the notes and send us your feedback.

Debrah Walker

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