http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2013/05/24/re-open-whisman


Mountain View Voice

News - May 24, 2013

Re-open Whisman?

Community to discuss prospect of bringing local elementary school back

by Nick Veronin

A former city of Mountain View official, along with leading members of some Whisman-area neighborhood associations, plan to hold a meeting to discuss the possibility of re-opening Whisman School.

Area homeowners and current or former parents of elementary-age students with an opinion on the matter were invited to attend the event, according to a flyer for the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 28.

Robert Weaver, former environmental planning commissioner with the city of Mountain View, is spearheading the event. According to Weaver, the meeting is going to be held in a small space, and is intended only for those living in the attendance areas of Whisman and Slater schools.

Both campuses have been closed for some time.

The district originally leased the Whisman campus to the German International School of Silicon Valley in 2000, and recently agreed to allow the school to install some new portable units on the grounds. Slater was leased to Google in 2006 and the search giant currently runs a company childcare facility on the campus.

Speaking for the neighborhoods group in a statement, Weaver wrote that the meeting was being called for a number of reasons.

"The district's recent demographic study, along with the allocation of Measure G bond money throughout the district was a catalyst in bringing together the several neighborhood associations in the Whisman Elementary School area, to explore the possibility of reopening the school," he said. "It has been over a decade since Whisman Elementary closed, and the neighborhood has undergone significant change during that period. The lack of a traditional, walkable neighborhood school has been a concern for many years."

Craig Goldman, the district superintendent, has been invited to the meeting and plans to go. He said he is viewing the meeting as a chance to hear what the community thinks ought to happen in their neighborhood and to answer any questions that may arise.

"I'm interested in hearing what they have to say," Goldman said. "And also discuss issues that might come up when opening a school."

Goldman said he isn't ruling out the possibility of re-opening Whisman in the future, but currently he doesn't think re-opening the school — or any elementary school in that neighborhood — is imperative. "Right now, we're able to accommodate the students that we have with the facilities that we have," he said.

The superintendent also underscored Weaver's point, saying that the meeting was not intended to be very large.

Some in the community, including Steven Nelson, a Mountain View Whisman School District trustee, have advocated using Measure G funds to reopen Whisman as a district public school.

When Nelson ran for the school board, he said one of the things he would do when elected is explore the possibility of re-opening a school in the Whisman area. In an interview with the Voice, Nelson said he was pleased to see that a meeting was being held to discuss the future of Whisman.

"What I'm advocating is that there be a real open, public discussion," he said. "I'm happy that the community there has organized."

Those interested in learning more about the event can contact organizers via email at reopenwhisman@gmail.com.

Comments

Posted by Tyrella N Flynn, a resident of North Whisman
on May 24, 2013 at 9:14 am

Why? Why is this even a subject? What are the positive reasons to spend money you don't have. Better off a German school making money for the school district. No Brainer!