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Letter: What is Your Preferred Solution to MISD Overcrowding?

Mercer Island Resident Ralph Jorgenson Encourages Islanders in a letter to the editor to Participate in the Mercer Island School District MindMixer™ Public Process website.

Editor:

Please visit the Mercer Island School District (MISD) sponsored public process website and evaluate the various proposed options, vote on your preferred option, as well as consider submitting your own solution.

I would like to acknowledge the thorough work that the MISD has been conducting in preparation for the next school bond measure.

Specifically, over the past 5 months the activities have included:

-       The June public listening sessions.

-       The public survey that was conducted.

-       The MISD booth at summer celebration.

-       Mahlum Architecture’s short term and long-term architectural planning of the 6th School and High School Mega-Block area.

-       Transpo Group’s on-going traffic analysis to be presented Dec. 10th.

-       MISD staff and principal input

-       The City/School District Ad-Hoc Committee’s work to vet north end school site locations.

-       The decision to televise future School Board Meetings on (MI-TV Channel 21) starting Dec. 10th.

-       Updated student enrollment projection

-       Triangle Partners current community outreach and public process website

As a result of the above work, the District has come up with a number of solutions.  There is not a “Perfect” solution as they all have individual tradeoffs.  However, by continuing to engage our community, via:

i)              Sharing solutions and raw data,

ii)             Collecting broad public input,

iii)           Considering new ideas and addressing questions which are raised,

iv)           And making the selection criteria public.

MISD will have shown to the voters that all reasonable solutions were vetted.  And to the extent that any voter’s favored solutions may not be chosen, this process will hopefully win their vote since the voter will have a greater appreciation for the tradeoffs and the knowledge that their individual preferred solution was fairly, publicly and professionally vetted.

I hope all of us encourage our fellow community members to get engaged and provide input, in this discussion and challenge.  We currently have 700+ students in portables and our entire elementary and middle school populations have overcrowded commons areas.  We need to find a solution that will achieve the 60% “yes” vote to PASS.

Respectfully,

Ralph Jorgenson

Jerry Gropp Architect AIA November 13, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Some new Schools may be more needed than a new FireHouse- nicht wahr? J-
JasonK November 13, 2012 at 08:29 PM
News flash: a vote was taken a week ago, and the new Fire station and a rescue truck were approved by over 56% of Mercer Island voters. Get over it Jerry, and move on to what you will likely say about the new school construction proposals. Let me guess: "Don't knockdown and rebuild, but remodel."
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA November 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM
. .JasonK- "KnockingDown" is usually far from constructive- as most people know- and a bit knee-jerk easier to do- but not always the smart way to go. & as we look into the condition of our schools, we may well reconsider this heavily promoted measure and make a better decision with more benefits. JerryG-
Thomas Imrich November 18, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Ralph's advice is well founded. Now is the time to weigh in on the District and Board's sincere attempt to get to a widely community supported solution for our childrens education, that makes both education as well as fiscal sense. In that spirit, I'd also urge readers to check on Trevor's thoughtful options analysis on that Mindmixer web site, titled "Number crunching for 2 Options".
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA November 19, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Here's a link to Mindmixer- http://www.mindmixer.com/ JerryG-

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