In a surprise move, the board actually discussed yet another new site location for Grissom High School tonight. Since there were objections to the first “Weatherly Road” site, they have talked with the Hays family and have instead settled on a site that is directly south of that site, immediately behind Sam’s Club on South Parkway.
Here’s a picture of the “new” new Grissom site.
Supposedly this location is “even better” that the first new Grissom site that was originally considered just north of this location in the reddish area pictured above.
Dr. Wardynski, with his trademarked smirk, even made a point of thanking all the people who “were worried about this issue. They helped us get a better piece of land.” (Dr. Robinson, ever the cheerleader, can be heard in the background giggling at this remark.) Dr. Wardynski completed his comments by saying that they would be bringing a proposal to the board to vote on this new site in April.
Then Dr. Robinson chimed in. Dr. Robinson is the board member for Grissom High, and there has never been a Wardynski nor a development proposal that she didn’t love.
Here’s what she had to say about this presentation.
Robinson: I just want to say how excited I am to see this. I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and I know the community has as well, for just, for something definitive. And y’all have done a remarkable job of negotiating this and finding the very best possible piece of land, and I can’t wait to see what we do as we go forward. Just to clarify then, we will have a contract at some point in April? According to this timeline?
Wardynski: If not sooner.
Robinson: If not sooner? Excellent. And the key piece of concern is what happens to the existing site, and plans are in place there, and so we should have that also in April, if not sooner? Some sense of what that will look like?
Wardynski: We’re working on a separate agreement with the city.
Robinson: But the assurance is, that whatever goes into that site will add value to the neighborhood. We’re not hanging a for sale sign on it. It’s not going to be an empty space. It’s going to be a partnership that will really increase the value of that . . .
Wardynski: (interrupting) It’ll become city property. And their intentions, I’ve been talking to the mayor, is theater, gym, athletic facilities, and maybe some other additional features. s
Robinson: But again, it’ll be a strength to that neighborhood. It’s sort of a part of a package?
Upchurch: The words up there “Community Asset” came right out of Mayor Battle’s off . . . uh mouth. I used his words.
Robinson: Thank you, very much, everybody, for your work on this.
She’s really excited about this.
And you’ll notice how she and Dr. Wardynski are speaking of this: it’s a done deal. Back in January during the single community meeting that they held, they (Wardynski, Upchurch, and Wilson) made a point of telling the community that no decision had been made yet concerning the location of Grissom.
Then on Saturday, Councilman Olshefski told the Times: “Dr. Wardynski is getting ready to come out with a plan, that’s going to show what happens if the school moves over to another site.”
I guess this is that plan. And you’ll note that the plan made no mention of leaving Grissom in its current location. As Robinson referred to this plan, this is “something definitive.” In other words, when they bring a recommendation to the board in April (if not sooner), Wardynski will recommend exactly one location: directly behind Sam’s Club.
Rebuilding on the current site is a dead deal. It’s time to put your house on the market. The current Grissom will be closed in three years.
Robinson then followed up her sycophantic praise with another “interesting” claim:
But you know, I would also note that the letters that we got, and I think we got ten of them, were from out of state. They weren’t from the local community. They weren’t from people who had concerns for the needs of our children. And that’s our prime responsibility. So, you know, while I appreciate their efforts to share with us where archeological remains are located so they could continue to hunt, we have a responsibility to educate our kids and provide the best possible resources for them, and I think we’ve done that.
So evidently, the only opposition that Robinson received was from groups who were out of state and only concerned about hunting. She received no other “letters” from “the local community.”
“Interesting,” isn’t it? Someone asked me after hearing this: “Did you check to see if her pants were on fire?”
Wardynski, ever one to suck up to the business interests in this town corrected her statement that they were doing this “for the kids,” by saying:
Well, and I always think we’re here to add value to our city. And for the folks in that area (which are whom, exactly?) this ought to add a nice boost to property values, growth and all that.
And so we close on the truth. What really concerns Wardynski isn’t the kids and their education, but rather “adding value to our city.”
One question, Dr. Robinson, if I may. If you’re right that the community fully supports this plan to move Grissom from its current location, then why exactly was this discussion held under an agenda item entitled, “G. High School Update“? If the community truly does support the moving of Grissom High to a parkway location, then why was the agenda specifically and intentionally misleading? Surely it wouldn’t have taken that much more time to write, “G. Grissom High School Update,” would it?
(Not to worry. I’ll be sure and send you this question via certified letter tomorrow morning. What’s that address again? Oh that’s right, you don’t publish your mailing address on the district’s website, do you?)
No, they couldn’t let people know what they were talking about tonight because then people in the community might have actually shown up for the meeting to hear Robinson claim that the only complaints she’s received were from out of state.
Then people in the community might have been there to see Mr. Upchurch celebrating his easy presentation to the board in the hallway once he had been dismissed.
Then people would have been there to ask questions about this move and the motivations driving it.
Then, people would have heard Wardynski state that this decision was made to “add value to our city.”
They were, in fact, so afraid that the public might show up that they couldn’t even give the public 24 hours notice that they were talking about Grissom again.
These are the moves and actions of cowards who obviously do not believe that the decisions they’re making are the best for “our children” as Robinson claimed.
They are the best decisions for the Hays family and all the developers who are just chomping at the bit to start building a new subdivision in that area.
That’s what this board cares about. They’re just too cowardly to admit it before a room full of citizens who might call them out for putting developers ahead of children.
Rumor has it that land moving equipment was seen on this location today. So much for involving the public in this decision.