Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Parent challenges Weast's unexplained flip-flop

Superintendent Jerry Weast has a lot of explaining to do about his mysterious flip-flop on Seven Locks.

At the February 23, 2004 Board of Education meeting, Weast said, "It is far more cost effective to add onto existing schools than to open additional schools when the amount of projected space is modest, as is the case in the Winston Churchill Cluster."

But as Seven Locks parent Frances Maane tells the board, Weast inexplicably flip-flopped: "less than one month later, in Dr. Weast’s Memorandum dated March 22, 2004, he stated that 'it is less expensive to build a new facility at a new site rather than phasing construction at an existing facility over a number of years.'"

She adds that Weast "then states, 'Once the Seven Locks Elementary School is relocated to the Kendale Road site, I believe the current site at the intersection of Seven Locks Road and Bradley Boulevard would no longer be needed for school purposes.'"

Weast had already agreed to County Executive Doug Duncan's request to support the surplusing of area school property, so that Duncan could have developers build high-density subsidized housing on the sites.

"Based upon Dr. Weast’s rationale, if a replacement school for Seven Locks is less expensive, then that line of reasoning should be applied to every school in the county, and all modernizations should cease," Mrs. Maane tells the school board.

"However, it is most cost effective to keep Seven Locks open, because it is already paid for and we need the classrooms! Seven Locks is a paid-for school that does not need to be replaced. You can’t have it both ways."