Help Ensure That Preservation is Part of St. Louis Public Schools Facilities Plan
December 12, 2008
The St. Louis Public School District is rapidly completing a Facilities Management Plan to guide the State Administrative Board (SAB) through implementation of a plan for upgrades and closures. The Comprehensive Long-Range Plan passed by the SAB on December 11 calls for closing schools to help save costs. As Landmarks members know, school closings can be problematic in a district with such a vast stock of architecturally significant historic schools. Past closure rounds have led to mistakes, demolition and vacant buildings whose futures remain uncertain. However, Landmarks has also had success in aiding district decision-making toward responsible choices.
The district and its facilities consultant, MGT of America are in the midst of a public comment period that will inform the Facilities Management Plan. Historic preservation is one of the subject areas being discussed at public meetings, but remarks on preservation from MGT and district staff gives Landmarks cause for concern. (Read more in a recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial blog entry written by Eddie Roth and featuring comments by Landmarks' Assistant Director Michael Allen.) Essential to the facilities plan is sensitive treatment of schools to be retained and a disposition plan for the rest that avoids demolition or abandonment.
Please consider attending one of the remaining public meetings or sharing your thoughts via the online survey found at www.betterstlouisschools.com. With your input, the facilities plan can have a strong historic preservation component.
The remaining public meetings are listed here:
Monday, December 15, 6:00PM: Central VPA, 3125 S. Kingshighway
Tuesday, December 16, 6:00PM: Busch AAA Middle School, 5910 Clifton
Wednesday, December 17, 6:00PM: Lyon-Blow, 516 Loughborough