p.s. Stormin - even the media seems to have missed the significance of this project, as you explain it. For example this D&C story, of Sept 17,
repeatedly uses the words "construction" and "renovation" -- which is what I thought the project was about, and I suspect *is* what it was originally about! Only the fact that there WERE four public meetings scheduled gave me any clue that somehow it was more significant than that!!!
A project to renovate City School District classrooms has $1.2 billion to spend, and officials say they want the public to help them decide how to spend it.
A series of public meetings next week will give the community a chance to suggest school renovations as part of the Rochester Schools Modernization Project.
"We want to make sure that we take into consideration what the public wants," said Jerome Underwood, the district's director of operations.
Plans to renovate school buildings have been in the works since 2007 when the state legislation authorizing the project was passed.
The Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board, which is overseeing the project, will use input from the meetings to come up with a draft proposal that will be ready for public review in October. The final plan would then be ready to go to the state for approval by the end of the year.
Once the plan is approved by the state, the district can start designing the projects. Administrators hope to start construction on the first phase by mid-2012.
The modernization project matches the district's efforts to revamp school programs under Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard. Administrators say that a safe, modern facility is key to a child's success in the classroom.
The board overseeing the project has hired key contractors in recent months as the project moves forward.
The first phase of the project will allow the district to renovate up to 13 of its school buildings at a cost of $325 million.