We applaud the mayor for demanding that the Pope John School be totally rehabbed at a cost of $76 million.
We also applaud his stated willingness to go through with the rehab should the city council vote for it.
We do not understand why the mayor is so unwilling to consider this a victory for himself and for his administration.
Rehabbing this school will mitigate a serious overcrowding situation that now exists.
Why does the mayor not see himself as a hero making this happen – and as soon as possible?
Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani is all for the gold standard rehab.
She would be ill advised not to accept a new school inside and out designed for 7th and 8th graders in what would become a junior high school.
The timeline for the mayor’s new incarnation for the Pope John School is about 2 1⁄2 years – maybe a little less or a little more depending on how construction moves along.
Pope John as a public school also alleviates the bad karma in the immediate neighborhood where residents there almost uniformly do not want to see affordable housing on that property.
They will praise the mayor justifiably for his willingness to listen to their opinion and more importantly, to respect it.
Then again, the Pope John school functioned there as a school for almost 60 years.
Is there any wonder the neighborhood would like to have it remain a school.
It might go on for another 60 years according to the construction consultants the city council heard last Monday evening.
Still, we don’t understand the mayor’s halfhearted support for the Pope John School to live again.
His vision of a new vocational high school is super but it is right now a pie in the sky.
And even with state approval, it will come with a $400 million or more price tag and will take a decade to complete.
Many of us may not be around in a decade.
It is great to have a vision.
Even better is to show support for public school education. By saying he will approve of Pope John if it is the desire of the council is big medicine.
The mayor would be doing the right thing.
And by bonding the rehab, it will be a pittance on the backs of taxpayers, and a bonus to all those who have children in the public schools.
We call that a win win.
Last, who among us wouldn’t rather have a late model, smooth riding and shiny Mercedes than a beaten up Toyota!
The gold standard rocks for Pope John.
Those protesting against it may be well meaning but they are misguided.