Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Addressing FHS wear and tear

Charlie Franklin had commented:
The High School is approximately 1/6th - 1/7th the age of Harvard & Yale, and it is only 37 years old. If from what has been mentioned about it.. Is it the workmanship from when it was built, or the lack of proactive steps to keep up on the building? Or...is it the kids who go to the school that cause much of the damage? If that is the case, then there should be more oversight and someone is lacking in their job performance. It took years to get it to this stage..and the School Committee was in charge of the school for most of it, until recently when they could pawn off their responsibilities.
The full post and comment is here.

1 - to address the maintenance status of the building

I posted Mike D'Angelo's memo outlining the capital expenses on the high school building over the last 10 years here.

Specifically from D'Angelo's memo I quote:
The news media showcased some of the tours and the need to renovate Franklin High in a negative way. That is not because we have not been maintaining the building but because the programmatic needs of the educational system have changed. The things we are looking for in a renovation will change the focus of the building. We will change a High School that probably had only 30% of its students enrolled in college prep programs in 1970 to one that has more than 90% in 2008. The building needs to change to support that enrollment change.

2 - to address your comparison to Harvard's buildings

I managed to find a document on the Harvard buildings submitted to the Cambridge, MA government website that depicts the age of the buildings in color code. In particular, when you match the buildings coded black (those under 50 years old) those are the ones where science and math are taught. The building coded red or yellow (either "historical" or those over 50 years), those are used for dormitory and office space. They are not used for the advanced technical laboratory needs of the institution.
  • You can find the document here. (May open slowly as it is a PDF file)
  • Scroll to page 6. On the bottom of page 6 is the color code table.
Of interest is the Harvard Yard Tour (a 3 minute video) during which they confirm that the oldest buildings surrounding the yard are dormitories.

You can also look to the Harvard FactBook published by the Provost of Harvard University and found on their website here (PDF).

Skipping through the pages to #34 and #35 will bring you to the facts on the physical plant.

For example:
The University owns and operates more than six hundred buildings of varying sizes and characteristics spread over a wide geographic area. They encompass approximately 24.5 million gross square feet of space. The physical plant provides living space for students and faculty, research facilities to advance our base of knowledge, classroom and library spaces for the dissemination of knowledge, and space for administrative and support services.
Of interest is their new science complex under construction in Allston, slide show here

And this chart depicting the growth of their campus over time:

Therefore the comparison of the age and condition of the Franklin High School building to those at Harvard doesn't work.

No comments:

Post a Comment