August 10, the GADGET Center hosted a presentation to talk about the RFP possibilities for the Bruce Monroe Site. The Bruce Monroe Site was an elementary school, located between Columbia and Irving, for thirty years. An agreement was formed in 2008 with the Bruce Monroe Parent Group for the school to be demolished in 2010 and rebuilt in 2011. However, after the building was demolished, the funding disappeared along with the downfall of the market. In spite of the lost fundings and no clear message that the school would be rebuilt, Bruce Monroe parents are angry and disheartened towards the future of the site.
Andre Byers, Project Manager for the Bruce Monroe Site and affiliated with the Deputy Mayors Office, revealed the bid proposal requirements to a diverse group of architects, developers, and community representatives. Two development options were presented: all commercial, and the second, commercial and school- maximizing affordability within both options. The Bruce Monroe Parent Group is in opposition to the Bruce Monroe Site being all commercial, furthermore, a violation of the community’s trust.
After interviewing a group of representatives from the Bruce Monroe Parent Group, the message was clear ” A city should rebuild its schools with no public-private partnership, no commercial element – just a neighborhood public school, with school grounds, funded by tax dollars, as promised”.
Problems like these happen all too often. The city gains the trust from the community and promises something that the community is happy with, demolishes the site, and then abuses that trust and creates a new vision for the site which does not incorporate the original plan nor the promise that was given. The fact of the matter is that for a project to be successful, there has to be an honest agreement between the community, the developers, and the city , creating a project that is needed and wanted by all. The job of the community as a whole is to work together to prepare a better future for its youth. It is so easy to become far removed from that mindset when you don’t stop to listen and consider. I am not here to give a biased opinion, i just do what my heart knows to be right. Bruce Monroe Site served and still is serving its purpose in the community, the children, our future. If we all keep that in mind when making these grave decisions, I believe everything will fall into perspective.
The proposals from the developers are due October 14 by 3:00pm. The community will be invited to vote for approvals of their favorite design once the proposals are in.