Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sarah Swisher on the status of Hoover School

Here is school board member Sarah Swisher’s recent statement on the status of Hoover Elementary School:
On July 23rd, Iowa City School Board members voted to adopt the Facilities Master Planning Committee recommendation with changes related to three facilities.

• Keep the Roosevelt Education Center serving kids like they do now.

• Retire Hoover no earlier than 2017-2018.

• Keep Hills Elementary operational as an elementary school for the foreseeable future at its current capacity.

The resolution states that Hoover will retire “no earlier than 2017-2018.” I can’t figure out how the headline that said “Board Votes to Close Hoover,” was the reporter’s take on this action by the school board. The resolution, as amended, does not say Hoover will retire, only that it can’t close “any earlier than 2017-2018.”

Hoover families may be correct if they believe this language casts a pall on Hoover, but it simply does not in any way preordain the “retirement” or “closure” of Hoover. I, for one board member would not have voted for the amendment if it did not contain this language because I want a long preparation and study period if Hoover does in fact retire. I made the motion, I voted for the amendment and my intent is that a board just before or after the 2017-18 date will decide determine Hoover’s destiny.

It was really important to vote now on a plan based on the recommendations of the Facilities Master Planning Committee because we need to proceed with meeting the space needs of our kids. That is what we did. If we wanted to close Hoover we would not have voted for this amended motion.
My commentary is here.

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