A landmark emerges on the M-A High School campus Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Aug 5, 2008 at 4:07 pm
Lysistrata, Aristophanes' comedy in which Greek women from all sides of the Peloponnesian War withhold sex from their husbands until they agree to stop fighting, could, in a pinch, be staged today at the performing arts center being built at Menlo-Atherton High School.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 6, 2008, 12:00 AM
Posted by catching my breath, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2008 at 4:07 pm
Guess I was snoozing as this behemoth was taking shape on Middlefield, but the details in this story have sure slapped me awake. From an estimate of $18 million to $32 million -- with still more than a year to go of probable cost overruns??? Are there any private funds going into this lavish facility, or is the taxpayer picking up the tab entirely? Does anyone else think this project has crossed the line between providing for the education of our kids and out-of-control spending of public money?
Posted by M-A parent, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2008 at 8:23 pm
"The 36 percent increase from M-A's original $18 million estimate..."
I know math is hard for some people, but how exactly is $32 million only 36% more than $18 million? And while I'm at it, how come this building cost twice as much as Woodside's theater? Obviously the writer is enamored of the design and the name-droppable people associated with it, but I'm with catching: is this truly the best use of public money?
Let's keep in mind that this is a public school, and one with a rundown physical plant. Yet the school has a relatively new, gorgeous pool, a stunning but badly designed and superfluous new gym, and now a breathtaking and expensive theater. Meanwhile, the classrooms could use a coat of paint, the science labs are outdated and inadequate, and the academic center of campus is about as attractive as a county jail.
M-A still provides a quality education, but it's too bad that the decision makers, like the writer, are so blinded by "world class design" that they forget why the school exists.
Posted by Tom, a resident of another community, on Aug 7, 2008 at 9:43 am
Catching my Breath-take a very deep one-if this project got past you, you're probably not alone. Because the school is actually in Atherton and because evidently the laws pertaining to environmental studies, traffic impact studies and architectural control approvals don't apply to projects on State school land unless they're building 10+ classrooms, no public process was needed outside the school district board. It even made it pretty easy for Menlo Park City Council to throw $2 million of your money into the cost of the project so they can use it once in awhile. Anyway, just wait until the builder puts the copper clading (yup, copper) on the surfaces that are now just metal. Like putting a bow on a very ugly dog.
Posted by David Boyce, Almanac staff writer, on Aug 7, 2008 at 9:59 am David Boyce is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
In mid 2007, the project management for M-A's new theater eliminated the copper roof in favor of a standing-seam metal roof. The change in materials reportedly saved between $600,000 and $700,000.
Other cost saving moves at that time included cutting back on the number of seats from 500 to 483 (though the seating has gone back up to 494) and making the walls from concrete block rather than poured concrete.