One of the district’s main goals, in its facilities planning process, was to address overcrowding in its schools, many of which (including Hoover) currently have so many kids that they need temporary classrooms. Yet the school board ultimately decided to make closing Hoover part of its plan. Closing a school, of course, makes it harder to address overcrowding. Because it is closing Hoover, the board needs to build that much more capacity elsewhere. Its plan, for example, builds additions at Longfellow and Mann elementaries that together cost almost $16 million – over and above the cost of the renovations and air conditioning that everyone agrees those schools should get. Even if you discount the $3.5 million that it would cost to renovate Hoover if it were kept open, the closure is costing roughly $12 million—while adding no new capacity at all.
That twelve million dollars could be spent on real needs—for example, on projects that actually add elementary capacity. (Or it could be saved entirely.)
It costs twelve million dollars, it adds no capacity, it will delay and endanger other projects in the plan, it hurts the surrounding neighborhood, it violates the expectations raised by the Revenue Purpose Statement vote and the clear public preferences expressed at the community workshops, it makes it harder to pass the necessary bond, and it closes a school that is ideally located to meet the district’s diversity goals without running a single bus. Why does anyone think this closure is a good idea?