Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "Remodeling Would Be Less"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

Without providing any details, Mr. Greenwell has suggested that we can complete this project for $40 million less. Notably, the board did look at a plan for the price Mr. Greenwell suggests. It failed to meet our instructional and space needs, and only saved the average homeowner roughly $40 dollars per year. Can one in good faith argue that for that price differential we should eliminate key aspects of the new schools?

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The details are in the values in the previous post. It appears $40 million is a minimal savings utilizing the hand-selected high schools as a model. To be well within the average range, we could save $23,000 per student or easily $46 million. Remember that a total upgrade renovation would cost $61 million, representing an $84 million savings! Please don’t marginalize these astronomical savings with a mere $40 or cup of coffee a homeowner.

The Board rejected several cost saving plans since, as Mr. Weiss asserts, they “failed to meet our instructional and space needs”. “Our” needs? Or the previously mentioned community input sessions?