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School auditoriums, a Big song and dance?

Original post made by Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park, on Sep 19, 2013

The last board vote on Mountain View Whisman middle school plans was 3 Yea, 2 Nay. Here is the short story on why I will again vote against the plans, which have reserved $6.5 million for each school’s new performing arts auditorium.

This story contains 376 words.

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Comments (5)

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Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Give 'em hell Steven! The district should be focusing 100% on STEM-related infrastructure. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Posted by Observer2
a resident of another community
on Sep 19, 2013 at 5:54 pm

I agree that type of expense is excessive for middle school.

As for the Solar projects--consider doing that with a private investor. They put in the system and sell back electricity at at discount. It won't save as much off the P G&E bill as would owned hardware, but it is still going to be some savings, and more when the rates rise over time.

This seems like something you could introduce that might get some support from other board members.

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Posted by Economist
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Why do the middle school staffs have a say in any of this, or even the school district admistration. The leaders of local industry and technology should be guiding the direction on new facilities with an eye to the future skills in demand. What we have here is window dressing for the bureaucrats and teachers unions. What a wasted opportunity and a waste of money.

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Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 19, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Actually, Graham DOES need a theatre or performing arts center. The Multi-Purpose Room is too small to accommodate the instrumental music program. However FWIW it's working out quite nicely that instrumental music used LAHS Theater and Vocal Music & Dance uses a local church for their respective concerts.

What the middle schools do NOT need is a full-time theatre manager, unless that's a credentialed teacher who is providing courses in drama, stagecraft, etc. If MVWSD really means it when they chant "it's all about the students" then they know that students need the programs and services that are currently being cut (art and music) instead of newer buildings.

Graham (not sure about Crittenden) could benefit from a modest performing arts center. The science teachers as wel as local STEM leaders should be consulted about capital improvements in those areas. Please don't let the superintendent and the architect decide what teachers need, as is too often the case.

@Economist, the teachers shouldn't have any say about the facilities in which they provide instruction to 150 students/day....haha that's funny. Yeah, what do teachers know about teaching?! (rolling eyeballs)

@Observer 2, is solar energy even on the table for MVWSD? That's the FIRST thing that MVLA added to their campuses, so that they could start saving money ASAP.

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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I ended up voting YES to the 'Phase I only' projects. Solar energy - although sensible by the grants and rebates the High Schools got, actually didn't have much support in MVWSD pre-bond voter polling. The Observer 2 comments may make sense (and I wish I could get 2 more Trustees to vote LEED Silver like the City and High Schools use).

Does anyone in the high schools theatre program know if the theatre managers need to be "credentialed". I love the arts - but we do not anymore have a dedicated "basic digital technology" teacher and curriculum. Learn spreadsheets, word-processing, and minimum web-page design yourself. [Ask your favorite middle school for a Technology Class Syllabus]

I cringed at the architects already starting to offer cost-saving-cuts to the number of sinks the science teachers asked for and might be getting! (will pay for control room for theater?) This is not NYU or a performing arts magnet high school IMO. The number of local STEMS jobs to local performing arts jobs? Sometimes the appropriate song is like being Stoned, "You can't always get what you want to." The community (this community) has paid for two lovely performance auditoriums at our two high schools. To rent these (20 times per year) - is 1/5 the cost of just a theater manager. {+ or -]

Teachers (IMO) always have to be consulted (as a group and through their department groups) and I think the MVWSD Administration (yes Goldman) is doing a wonderful job of organizing this (unless I personally am contacted by the Teachers Union to dissuade me of this impression!).

I'm an elected official, and I always post under my real name to avoid Brown Act problems.

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