Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Seismic Upgrades: Gift That Keeps on Giving

. . . to CCSD's building director Bill Lewis's contractor friends, that is. Reported by the Charleston City Paper Blogs (see left) is another round of useless attention to Charleston County's major earthquakes [Schools Move Forward with Seismic Upgrades]. Major, you ask?

Poor Lewis. Traumatized by experiences in California with earthquakes, he assumes he's still in California. He probably wonders why the poor, ignorant saps in Charleston County have built schools for the last 100 years that don't meet California's seismic standards! And Green, Meyers, & Co. have swallowed this nonsense, hook, line, and sinker.

As Lewis puts it, "The district has been constrained by budget concerns, but discretionary money in the building fund, increased awareness on the school board, and the potential for federal stimulus aid have reignited plans for precautionary improvements. 'The window has opened for us to proceed with speed.'" Well, yes, before the School Board comes to its senses, if such an event is possible.

Lewis views the entire peninsula of Charleston as a building project awaiting his rescue. Clearly, every building not meeting seismic codes must be torn down, including all older school buildings (think Memminger, Courtenay, Rivers, Buist). For another point of view, check out New Study: Charleston Overreacting to Earthquake Threat.

Who cares if the chances of a major earthquake in the next century are somewhere between slim and none (and closer to none). If CCSD has the money, why then it must be spent! This school board is just the one to do it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did anyone catch the suggestion offered by Bill Lewis to bring in some more "outside experts"? I believe he said he has some good buddies in LA and San Diago who he can bring in to held CCSD make the "right" choices. For a large fee of course. Did he forget to mention that he has enjoyed their largess for years by attending their conferences as an "outside expert" from Charleston? Did he mention that he received valuable considerations in return for his attendance and participation...WHILE he was also on the CCSD payroll? Did he report that to his employer or to the state ethics commission? Probably not. But that was just a minor oversight on his part. The fact that his 3 year, almost half million dollar contract to oversee and maintain CCSD's buildings and property just isn't enough to make ends meet so that he has to go out and prostitute himself to California school districts while he is supposed to be working for CCSD. You'd think if he's sharing his experience with California school districts, his employer should at least get a cut. Instead we are about to get a bill to line the pockets of some more "friends of Bill".

Who's watching these crooks? How dumb are we to continue to let this happen?

Thanks to our good cousin...or uncle or whatever he is...for finding a middle ground and enlightening the rest of the board to the idea of remediation. Even poor Bill was caught off guard. I guess in this historic city, Bill Lewis will be forced to rethink his idea of never having met a building over 50 years old that shouldn't be torn down. I guess they will have to find another reason to keep successful charter schools out of these empty historic buildings. And they will.