Friday, June 20, 2008

Report on School Board Decision

School Board comments:

"When we granted the extension six months ago, why didn’t these questions come up? Now we’re looking for another extension? I’m just having a hard time with this." -–Sarasota County School Board Vice Chairwoman Caroline Zucker on the adaptive reuse project for Riverview High School during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

[TALK] No Saving Riverview

There were too many unanswered questions, school board members said, for an architectural proposal to turn famed architect Paul Rudolph’s Riverview building into a music quadrangle. School board members voted 3 to 2 on Tuesday to reject plans to save the building. During the meeting, Riverview students and parents asked the school board not to allow the music quadrangle to be constructed on campus, citing security and space concerns.

Architects pleaded with members to save the structure, which is listed on the World Monument Fund’s 100 Most Endangered Sites. “If you allow this vote to go yes, it will draw a lot of attention to this community,” said Joel May, president of the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

School board members repeatedly asked architects representing the project how much total money the music quadrangle would cost and how much money was already raised. Architects explained they couldn’t get major foundations to donate to the project until it was approved.

“It (the project) seems to have morphed from this local group and now we’re talking about all these groups from New York and that area in all these contracts,” school board member Shirley Brown said. “You’re asking us to go into a contract with somebody…I don’t know who it is. I have the public trust of our local tax dollars. It seems so gray.”

From: PAGE 1 is produced by the editors and writers of SRQ: Sarasota's Premier Magazine, an e-mail newsletter.

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