Landmark Commission approves next step for the new Shorewood High School construction

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some of the crowd at the Landmarks Commission meeting.
At a well-attended meeting of the King County Landmarks Commission, the Commission staff made an extensive report about the design plans for Shorewood and recommended approval of the "Certificate of Appropriateness" which indicates that the Bassetti Architects and Shoreline School District have met all the code requirements for additions to a building with Landmark status, the Ronald School.

Stressing that the Commission, by statute, does not consider the use of the building or the ownership, the Commission explained that their task is to consider the landmarked portion of the building: the exterior of the building and the parcel of land it sits on.

After a presentation by the architects, over 30 people took the opportunity to express their opinions.

The Old Ronald School
The Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the architects and school district, pointing out that if the new school is attached to the Ronald School, it will be brought up to earthquake code, the exterior bricks and mortar will be completely repaired, and the rotted portico wood will be replaced. Most importantly, the aluminum windows would be replaced with wood or wood-clad windows in the original style of the building.

As for the land, they agreed with the comment that it was impossible to restore the area to the rural, agricultural land and dirt roads that existed when the school was built.

Commissioners confer with staff before the meeting
A formal notice of the decision will be given to Bassetti Architects and Shoreline School District. If opponents who wanted a larger set-back from the Ronald School, or who felt that the design of the addition overwhelmed the Ronald building still wish to take action, the next step would be to appeal to the Shoreline City Council.

"It's your community," the Commissioners said. "We hope that some of the design elements mentioned in the comments can be incorporated into the buildings."
"This is a very special community," they said. "We are used to these determinations being ignored. To have 70 people at a meeting, passionate about their history and their kids' education, is pretty impressive.

44 comments:

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 9:29 AM  

Thanks to the commission for remaining focused on their task and not getting side-tracked with issues that are in the past. Let's move on and get this done! The kids are counting on us!

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 10:13 AM  

It was clear from the turnout last night at the COA hearing, that Shoreline cares about both the Museum, their history and its Schools.

But, what was also clear is that the process for the Certificate of Appropriateness was a very daunting one for those who were opposed to this deal. Many opposed to this absurd proposal to kick out the museum, gut the building and invade it's Landmarked exterior, tried valiantly to present options and pose questions about the bizarre pretzel logic used to justify this scheme. But to no avail.

It seemed pretty obvious to even a casual observer, that the (only 3 commissioners attending) Landmarks Commissioners had already made up their minds and this hearing was a mere formality. The "professionals" on this commission had long ago bought into this hideous plan.

This entire deal has been pre-cooked from the beginning. The Design Review Process preceded this formal Commission hearing, back in September and there was absolutely no notice to anyone in the community (except we imagine "insiders") that the design review was underway. This was all set up well ahead by Bassetti, who had free will with the Commission and free access to the staff. Once the Design Review was complete it was a "fait accompli".

To be sure, those who were scammed into voting for the Bond, will never be fooled again. None of those who loved this museum will EVER trust this School District again on anything. The lies and spin continue to this day.

"Honoring the past"?????? Please, give us a break!

Anyone with kids in this system should be very wary about trusting your kids with these people. Remember Sunset School, North City, Room Nine? Remember the $2 million they misplaced back then?
Do you trust these School Board members to keep you kids safe, and get a good education? Hey SESPA workers, remember how they treated you?

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 12:02 PM  

Hmmmm Well, I guess the Shoreline School District should be very proud of the new legacy they are creating; dividing the community by pitting children against history when it never needed to happen, and assuring that voters will no longer be willing to support the levies we have backed for so very long. I hope they enjoy the new building without the ongoing funding to maintain it and its teachers......

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 12:25 PM  

I find it more offensive that that the thought of this whole mess was part of a "grand evil plan" on the part of the district. Do you think they want the the extra work and expense it will entail to update and incorporate the old building? Not likely! Also, threatening to hold our community and kids hostage with threats of withholding support for necessary funding levies in the future is unforgivable. Move on and find something else to fill your time.

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

Unforgivable!

What is unforgivable is the lies and cheating and deceptions perpetrated by this school district! Is that a good example for our children?

Let the record show that the District new they were going to kick out the Museum from the beginning and would have torn down the building if the Museum had not Landmarked it. Now they are doing backflips to claim they are "preserving it", when they are really sucking the life out of it.

What is unforgivable is the SSD's supporters willingness to cast all logic aside and perpetrate one of the greatest frauds in the history of voting in this State.

One hundred and fifty MILLION DOLLARS! For an unabashed theft of a priceless and irreplaceable public asset!

And they say they are "Honoring history"? Nauseating.

They are destroying our history to create a monumental lie.

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

I am surprised to see such paranoid rantings about this very special project. Everything possible is being done to renovate and preserve the building's crumbling exterior, while making the interior space usable for the students. The result will be beautiful, useful and lasting. As to the museum - well - a museum's artifacts can be moved to a more appropriate space. If an earthquake demolished the building tomorrow, they would no doubt be able to pick up and carry on. And finally as to the "Axis of Evil" of the architects, the board and the commission... you have got to be off your medication. The architects only follow what the client asks for. They've spent thousands of hours on drawings, field surveys and suggestions to date without being paid and should not be villified. You obviously are very misinformed.

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 1:33 PM  

@1:26 pm - skipping all the other comments, please identify the more appropriate space, I'd love to know what the location is since you seem to be more informed than the rest of us.

Unless, of course, there is no appropriate space and you are just spouting talking points you learned from the school district.

It is my understanding that at this point in time there is no home for the Shoreline Historical Museum nor is there one secured for its long-term residence.

So @1:26 pm, why don't you do something constructive like identifying and helping secure a long-term home for the Shoreline Historical Museum?

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

One thing cannot be disputed. There is nothing in the record to show that the Superintendent of the Shoreline School District, Sue Walker, did anything at any time to try to exclude the Ronald School Building from plans for a new Shorewood school.

We should ask: what were the guidelines given to Bassetti? did they require that RSB be (a) demolished, or (b) left out of the plans entirely, or (c) be included in the new school?

If the RSB had not been Landmarked, and therefore not subject to outright demolition, what would Sue Walker have wanted?

In my own interaction with Sue Walker, I was led to the opinion that she did all she could to hide from the public - as long as she could - the fact that the Museum was targeted for extinction and that the Ronald School Building was targeted for "incorporation" into the new building in a way that it would lose its identity.

It's my belief that we could have had both a great new school and the preservation of the Ronald School Building as a stand-alone historic monument to the past, if Sue Walker had cared to seek such a resolution.

Instead, with the agreement of the school board, she pursued a course of action that has led many to feel that they were deceived into voting for the school bonds that allowed her to pursue this worst of all possible resolutions.

Fool us once, shame on her. Many will not give her another chance to do so.

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

I agree with Anonymous @ 1:26 PM. A museum's exhibits are more important than the walls that surround them, especially the Shoreline Historical Museum. I mean it's not like the Louvre or anything. It's my understanding that the building is going to be A) preserved and B) will be reverted back to it's original use - a classroom. What's so evil about that? I believe the building is more beneficial to the community at large being used as a school rather than a museum.

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

I just have to comment on the statement in this article
"As for the land, they agreed with the comment that it was impossible to restore the area to the rural, agricultural land and dirt roads that existed when the school was built."

That is a completely specious argument and really irrelevant to the fact of what is proposed.

The building is unique because it is separate and "intact" like it was in 1912. Fifteen feet around the entire building is "LANDMARKED" and supposed to be off limits to development. This proposal completely invades that space.

Saying "we can't go back to a rural situation", means nothing! No one is claiming that! What proponents are saying is, there is no reason to invade the space around the building. DESIGN AROUND IT! That would not be hard for the highly trained architects to accomplish.

We can't go back to a rural situation in the center of Shoreline. Everyone knows that. What we can do though, is save the oldest public building in town and keep it whole!

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

" I believe the building is more beneficial to the community at large being used as a school rather than a museum" said anonymous at 3:06 pm today.

Like much of the comment at the "hearing", this is just an opinion, not a fact, and mostly irrelevant to the issue.

Does the writer have any information at all - by which I mean hard facts - as to how many thousands of school children had the special experience of visiting the museum and seeing what an old schoolroom looked like, in one of the actual old classrooms? That will be gone, forever, lost, destroyed, for no good reason. To say nothing of all the other history lessons formerly taught and enjoyed there.

Does the writer know how many community groups used the meeting room that will now be lost to the entire community and not be replaced? All because of the narrow viewpoint of one person? A person who wants this unnecessary destruction to be part of her legacy? Some legacy.

And have you seen the design for the "new" Shorewood school? Is this what we want for a modern, 21st century structure - a bland imitation of the more than a century-old Ronald School Building? How many millions of dollars will this debacle cost?

We have not been well-served by Sue Walker, the School Board, or the Landmark Commission's process. The last is a story in itself that needs exposing.

This irreplaceable and UNIQUE educational asset could have been retained both in function and form if that had been the goal, with no harm to the new school design while preserving a small tangible part of our history.

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

@3:06 pm - if the exhibits are what makes a museum, then where are the exhibits going to be located now that the Shoreline Historical Museum is homeless? Or is this just a minor detail for you, just as it was for @1:26.

I asked a question and there has been no answer - where do you think an appropriate location for the new Shoreline Historical Museum is?

Or are you just being smug?

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 10:36 PM  

Again..I ask for the umpteenth time...

What was the LEGAL alternative that would have allowed the Museum to remain in the Ronald School?

The only replies I've received to this question were "it's not my job to figure it out"..
"They should have been able to figure something out"
"They didn't want it to begin with?"
As a tax-payer, I would really like to know when you'll answer the question.
WHAT WAS THE LEGAL..get it, LEGAL alternative?

And, don't give me the worn out.."you're just a slsd supporter" bob and weave.
Answer the question and then you will POSSIBLY have some foundation for YOUR argument.

If you have NO ANSWER to what SPECIFICALLY could have been done different THAT WAS LEGAL..then your argument is nothing more than a TEMPER TANTRUM..

And..do try to stay on topic..I don't need another lecture of YOUR opinions of how evil everyone is who didn't do what YOU wanted.
Answer the dang question....and if you can't, well, that alone speaks volumes..

Anonymous,  November 18, 2010 at 10:38 PM  

@10:24...

I'd love to see the artifacts that are small enough to travel, visit all of the schools in the area.
Brookside has an amazing historic entry to their building..
It would be fantastic to see more of our history making the rounds..
My kids have been in Shoreline schools for 6 years...neither have ever gone to the museum.
It would be great if there were another way to view these awesome (and some FUN!) pieces...

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 1:01 AM  

@ 1:26 "They've spent thousands of hours on drawings, "field surveys and suggestions to date without being paid and should not be villified. You obviously are very misinformed."

What!! Last I saw they were contracted to be paid 800 grand just for the initial work. Volunteer architects, I don't think so. Trying harder to get the job by pleasing the "owner" sounds more realistic. Architects must please the owner or owners representative in order to win among the competitors. Unfortunately we could have better representation- one that can actually communicate with a community openly and honestly, not just win popularity point from the Shorewood devotees who are without a doubt too excited about NEW schools to think clearly about community history and community assets. New is much more thrilling to some than caring for the older, I guess.

And @ others, please, no more talk about the District being the saviors of the Ronald Schoolhouse. The Museum was already slated to receive millions from history support entities in upgrade and repair work- but only as a Museum. So now more of your local taxes will go into the RSB.

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 7:15 AM  

So "Legal Alternative" is what you're demanding that would have allowed the Musuem to stay @10:36?

Well, how about THEY OWNED THE BUILDING until the SSD decided to threaten them with condemnation and being left with nothing if they didn't sell the building.

How 'bout they District could have easily had the fancy architects design around the "LEGALLY " Landmarked Building?

How 'bout the District could have conducted an honest Bond election,
that disclosed their real objectives.

Now the LEGAL ALTERNATIVE would be to come clean now to the public about their process and how they've never had any other goal, but to remove the Museum and have their way with the building. And really, what they wanted all along (as several commenters stated at the hearing) was to just tear it down.

Come on Sue, just admit it.

Also, @ 10:24 who wants to take the artifacts around to all the schools,
here's a fact! The District does not OWN those artifacts. (Even though they tried to commandeer them). They belong to the community. It would be nice if they could go on a travelling tour. But now, the District has blown the Museum to hell and it will be quite a long time before anyone in charge will have any ability to do cute little tours. Get real!

And you can still take your kids to the Museum in next few weeks! Let them see it now. See how a real old fashioned schoolhouse looks with artifacts in it. What's stopping you? It's free!

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

Brookside is a tiny, temporary space - the Museum has a huge collection.

Not to mention that SSD just evicted them from their permanent home.

We need to find a permanent home sufficient to meet their needs in terms of location, size, and the unique needs of a museum collection that is realistic, affordable at the same time.

So, all you SSD fans, step up and solve this problem since you had no problem asking the public to spend over $300 million on the two school bonds.

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 10:10 AM  

Just as a side note, some make it sound like a new Shorewood High School (and the bonds that make it possible) is some frivilous fancy that the SSD came up with. Are you saying that the high school does not need to be replaced? That's what it sounds like to me when you complain about the bonds. Isn't it the public's responsibility to pay for public schools? A new high school is not some luxury...spend some time in the current building and you will see that it is a necessity that is LONG overdue. The physical structure is a disgrace to the community. The new facility will match the great work that goes on inside by the staff and students. Public schools are funded by public money, for the good of the whole community. If you put half as much energy into finding solutions here instead of beating a dead horse,people might be more inclined to help find a new home for the exhibits and come up with some community BUILDING solutions instead of endless griping and bickering. Fighting for your cause is admirable, but alienating everyone in the process is not helping. Just sayin....

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM  

@ 10:10am -
So, yes of course the public should pay for public schools.

Advocates for the Museum and Ronald School have been totally consistent about the need to replace Shorewood.

But that doesn't mean that SSD gets to do whatever lamebrained thing they want with the PUBLIC'S money.

This attempt to blame the Museum and Ronald School for this SSD self- generated problem is outrageous.

The Museum bent over backwards to work with SSD. They even signed the damned "Agreement in Principle" in an attempt to support the Bond vote.

The climate of fear around here is palpable. The ability of the SSD to bully anyone who so much as infers they are wrong, is sickening and not conducive to democratic process or educational excellence. It is authoritarian and antithetical to open public process.

10:10, YOU have to put "half as much effort" into thinking clearly.

The Museum supporters and lovers of democracy, history and clear thought and also protecting the public purse ARE thinking clearly.
They are not controlled by the "authorities" at SSD. They are not the only governing authority around here either.

We ARE fighting for real education, that includes history, community and truth.

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

@10:10 am - It was NEVER said that the bonds were frivolous - typical knee jerk reactionary response from SSD supporters.

I said that the general public should also receive some kind of benefit, like a permanent spot for the Shoreline Historical Museum, in exchange for their GENEROUS support of SSD. Not only that, but the Shoreline Historical Museum also supported the most recent $150 million bond - the least you school district folks could do is help them find a new, suitable and affordable permanent home instead of being so negative and reactionary.

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 5:05 PM  

Thanks, as this little back an forth can go on forever, but I will find something more productive to do. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!! Let's all take a few minutes and be thankful that we are fortunate enough to worry about something like whether we will build a new school or have a nice museum. Some people are worrying about where their next meal will come from or whether their child will be safe walking to school or whether their government will allow their daughter to attend school. I for one will be thankful that we live in a safe community full of passionate people!!

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

"Well, how about THEY OWNED THE BUILDING until the SSD decided to threaten them with condemnation and being left with nothing if they didn't sell the building."

Really???
They owned the building outright?
Really?
What about the part of the language that said if the district needed it, they had first dibs on it.
And...you keep forgetting the party about THE LAND~
What about the LAND?

Explain to all of us how the district could have LEGALLY left the building on the property and let the museum use it?

Where is your legal solution to that?

Additionally, you fail to mention that one of the plans INCLUDED having the museum use the building in a shared fashion..but, LEGALLY they had to pay for the use like ANY OTHER user of space that belongs to the district.
Where is your LEGAL solution of how the district could have solved that problem?


Also, you seem to forget that the district was willing to MOVE the dang building somewhere else~

Whose fault is it that they (the museum) did not buy spot to put it?


So..the district would have moved the museum- the museum didn't buy land.

The district would have rented them space- they couldn't afford the rent.

The district has ZERO ability to allow the Museum to stay in the space for free (because it is against the law)
and..the CURRENT BUILDING Museum supporters can see no one who's at fault but the district?

Find another place to put the artifacts.
Why not ask the city if the empty space in some city-owned building can be used?

Move on...

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 7:19 PM  

TO @ 5:05 PM

Have a Happy Thanksgiving1

But please don"t try to demean or diminish those of us who have enthusiastically supported every school levy, as well as the bonds for the new schools, while equally supporting the Shoreline Historical Museum, another EDUCATIONAL institution as well as a unique part of our local history.

The conflict between the Shoreline School District and the Shoreline Historical Museum was deliberately provoked by Superintendent Sue Walker and the Shoreline School Board.

Who other than local, concerned and well-informed citizens should try to bring about a solution that instead of the unnecessary - I repeat, unnecessary - destruction of an irreplaceable historic building could have preserved it for the educational purposes it has served for many decades.

The SSD has never given a scrap of evidence that it ever had any interest in preserving the Ronald School Building until it was forced to by the landmarked designation. It even refused to
endorse that designation when it was asked to.

Why would they refuse if they really intended to save and "honor"it? Well, think about it. Once it was landmarked, the Ronald School Building could not be torn down or, supposedly, radically altered externally. Draw your own conclusions about the SSD intentions for this rare remainder of a previous era.

No one is required to participate in the analysis of how this all came about. But there is much much more to the total story, and there are lessons to be learned from this civic failure that we would be wise to study well. And remember.

Those who are ignorant of their history are bound to repeat past mistakes.

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 8:09 PM  

Right on!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous,  November 19, 2010 at 10:27 PM  

@6:33 pm - I think you have just proven my point that SSD supporters are self-centered, self-aggrandizing people who do not care not a whit about the general public that pay taxes on millions of dollars for new schools.

It would cost a 1-3% of the $150 MILLION to find a new home for the Shoreline Historical Museum that took care of the Ronald School for decades so that it could be preserved but you resort to being mean-spirited.

As for @5:05 pm, I expect that you have a Tent City patron at your Thanksgiving Table scheduled already plus hundreds of dollars already donated (not pledged) to those less fortunate. Actions count, not words. You asked Shoreline voters to "pull the lever" in your favor last February, now it's time to pay the piper. For that matter, it's really not that discretionary since SSD enticed the Shoreline Historical Museum into a phony deal, is it?

Talk about mean girls, and and passive aggressiveness. No wonder schools have so many problems with their children.

Anonymous,  November 20, 2010 at 8:06 AM  

1%-3% of 150 Million dollars is by my calculations:
1.5-4.5 MILLION Dollars.

Now, tell us all the LEGAL avenue that would allow the SLSD to use 1.5-4.5 million dollars for The Museum?
How would that work?

Asking questions that you still have not answered.

Who's resorting to name calling here?

It seems to be the "Current Building Only" Museum Supporter @ 10:27.

Good thing that's not allowed in schools.

Anonymous,  November 20, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

Not a current building only supporter, I've said let's move on.

But if you had even bothered to follow the proceedings, SSD had abandoned a piece of history, Shoreline Historical Museum spent about the amount of money you just calculated to preserve it, maybe you didn't pick up on what Koler of 4Culture stated at the hearing did you?

And since the museum is part of the Shorewood HS is using the Ronald School, alternatives must be identified for the new location of the museum.

BTW, I didn't start the name calling, you wonderful people did by calling the building an eyesore. I am trying to point out the museum needs a new place after you trashed the old place yet state that that the collections make the museum.

But anyone who doesn't agree with you gets trashed. I didn't propose spending that kind of money, you did. But it would be nice if they did.

Here is the issue, since you forgot: where in central Shoreline, is an affordable, appropriate location for a PERMANENT home for the Shoreline Historical Museum. I'm not talking about the current - for those who fail to understand.

Anonymous,  November 20, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

@8:06 AM said:

"Now, tell us all the LEGAL avenue that would allow the SLSD to use 1.5-4.5 million dollars for The Museum?

How would that work?"

To read about a LEGAL way for the SSD to pay for a new place for the Museum, why don't you check out the SSD's own website at

http://www.shorelineschools.org/news/release.php?releasesid=1053

which has a link to the actual agreement by which the SSD agreed to use part of its bond funds to BUY the RSB from the Museum. Unfortunately, the "sale price" was a pittance compared to what the Museum and other agencies had already put into rescuing this building in the first place. And certainly not enough for obtaining a comparable home.

Thus, the SSD had an alternate LEGAL route to follow, in fact, it had several, all of which would have been better for our community, including our school population.

For reasons that we may never know, Sue Walker and the School Board chose the way most deleterious to our entire community, and arguably the most expensive and wasteful use of taxpayers' dollars when all alternatives are considered.

Will any of this conversation change any opinions? I like to think that facts can have an influence upon the conclusions that reasonable people reach.

Anonymous,  November 20, 2010 at 12:54 PM  

"
BTW, I didn't start the name calling, you wonderful people did by calling the building an eyesore. I am trying to point out the museum needs a new place after you trashed the old place yet state that that the collections make the museum."

Ok...not enough time at the moment to respond to the rest of what you wrote...however I don't know WHO you're talking about when you say "you wonderful people", however, I have NEVER said the building was an eyesore.
As a matter of fact, from the beginning I ( and I can only speak for myself) have maintained that I wish the Museum could afford to pay to rent the space in the building..OR, that the building could be moved.
I LOVED the agreement that moved the historic building to a different place and allowed it to exist in its current capacity.

Be careful of assumptions..

Anonymous,  November 20, 2010 at 9:43 PM  

So, at the hearing on Thursday and several other times SSD supporters have stated openly that they thought the Ronald School was an "eyesore", old and in the way, and stating that they thought the museum wasn't worth the trouble, etc, etc.

Now above, we have someone ranting about "legal alternatives" and demanding the the Museum justify its existence after they have been cast out onto Shoreline's streets.

It is profoundly disrespectful of all the 35 yrs of detailed and careful work to preserve the Ronald School and the Museum (which is about the School District for heavens' sake), to suggest these things. It's as if the partnerships forged in making the Museum were suddenly meaningless and mutual benefit was all just a misunderstanding.

This is ALL because of the divisiveness created by the SSD's actions, and the deceptive and yes "EVIL" way this plan was carried out. It was all a plot from the beginning to remove the museum and invade the Ronald School. (AND YOU know it SSD!)

Then to hear the SSD cheerleaders sneer, and deride the Museum which has previously received nothing but praise and cooperation is BIZARRE.

It's like a Cinderella. Once she was the adored child, but then became the scorned stepchild once the mean stepmother and stepsisters took over her life.

But, Cinderella finally triumphed in the end. Here's hoping there is a
better ending in the future for the Shoreline Historical Museum and the Ronald School.

Right now it looks like a nightmare. And it's still a bad dream for Shoreline too.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

It doesn't serve anyone well to characterize SSD's actions as "evil" nor the Ronald School as an "eyesore."

Both sides of this issue are equally guilty of being entrenched in an argument in which there is no positive outcome.

Which is why I have tried to advance the issue of finding a permanent new home for the Shoreline Historical Museum that is in Central Shoreline that is accessible, affordable, etc. to get both parties onto a more constructive outlet for your energy. It appears that neither side is willing to do so.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 10:03 AM  

Reviewing some of the comments here, I want to clarify a few things.

• The Ronald School building does NOT have a "crumbling exterior". It has been carefully preserved since the SSD ABANDONED IT in 1971. The Shoreline Historic Museum has raised and spent over $1 million in public and private funding to restore many areas of the building and make it accessible. They have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Cities, County, State and elsewhere.

• The Shoreline Historical Museum did own the building, despite SSD's claims they somehow didn't. It's in their own records. It was a Quit Claim Deed signed and supported by the SSD in 1989. Former Mayor Bob Ransom was on the School Board at the time and testified as to the Board's intent back then, at last week's hearing.

• It is becoming clearer and clearer about the lengths the SSD went to, to conceal the truth about their plans and the process they've used to
undermine 35 yrs of "history" to justify their actions. They are now claiming to want to "honor history", but in reality we all see what's going on. They are gutting history and calling it "restoration".

Just come clarifications for those who are following this chain.

This is a fiasco of historic proportions.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

HEAR, HEAR to 8:02am!! Let's focus some positive energy and passion on finding the collection a new home! What can citizens do to help 8:02?

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 2:58 PM  

The Town Center Sub-Area Plan includes the Shoreline Historical Museum as an integral part, we should ask the City Council to assist the Shoreline Historical Museum in locating a new site.

For example, the Aurora Village transit center is supposed to move to 192nd & Aurora for a new Transit-Oriented Development. Just a suggestion. There are parcels that are under utilized in the Town Center Sub-Area, if we open our minds, we can envision a new location for the museum.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 5:18 PM  

That's constructive information we can use. Thanks! Is this item on any upcoming agendas for the Council?

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 6:51 PM  

There is nothing on the City Council agenda, which is why we as a community need to quit quarreling and work together for a solution.

That is my reason for asking for peace - not for understanding but so we can find a positive and constructive solution that is a win for the kids, a win for the general public, a win for the city, and a win for the museum.

If we start asking the city council and city staff, we can make it work. That is what community is all about, helping each other. And we can ask the school district to endorse this effort, we can make this work.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 7:54 PM  

Thank you! I believe there are a lot of people that are sick and tired of the fighting and stone throwing--me included--that want to pick up the pieces and move forward. If not, the exhibits will sit in storage at Sunset, which does not serve anyone. I too believe that the school district will support these efforts and the council should hear from us. Do you want letters? Phone calls?

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 9:13 PM  

I have no plan - I just want the fighting to stop, it was my idea from reading the comments here. So we can all start writing letters, emails, etc. to the city and school district and get a new, positive start to the Town Center going.

Our elected public officials on the city council and the school board, if they know that the community really wants and is unified behind a new location for the museum, will start to listen.

We all have proved what our city can do when we work together, we can do it.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2010 at 10:27 PM  

The fighting will not be over until we hear from Sue Walker that they all lied and deceived the community and that it was a terrible thing to do to our community.

They need to accept responsibility and so do all of the SSD cheerleaders. I doubt they are ready to do that yet. It will be a very long time before trust is restored. That "divisiveness" is the price we will all pay for what Sue Walker and this School Board has done.

Those of you just want peace, to make YOU feel better about this terrible theft of the most real thing in the community, and it was done in your behalf. A century old LANDMARKED building that can never be replaced is a terrible legacy for this school board and administration.

We will never forget what has happened, no matter how many fancy buildings you build.

Anonymous,  November 22, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

November 20, 2010 8:06 AM asked to hear about LEGAL means by which the SSD could have done more to provide a new home for the Museum, had it wished to.

November 20, 2010 12:10 PM answered that request, but we have not heard a peep in response.

Are facts getting in the way of your pre-judgment?

Anonymous,  November 22, 2010 at 12:13 PM  

I so wish that the SSD would have been amenable to a win-win alternative, and wonder why it was not willing to seek one.

Would it have been possible for the SSD to postpone the eviction of the Museum and the purchase of RSB until the Museum could find and acquire land to which it could move the RSB?

Just think what a happy outcome that would have been for everyone.

That was the sense of the "Agreement in Principle". The land acquisition that had been contemplated was unsuccessful because the seller chose another buyer. That's not the fault of the Museum or of the SSD.

But why was the SSD so impatient that it could not allow the Museum more time to seek another
location, which the Museum apparently was willing to do?

Instead of a badly divided community and hard feelings toward the SSD, we would have had unanimous enthusiasm for both the preservation of the old and the building of the new.

Instead of a "work-around" new school whose design spaces and elements were limited by the presence of the RSB, we could have had a totally new vision for a 21st century school, independent of having to consider the needs of the historic building.

The money that must be spent by the SSD because of its decision to "incorporate" the RSB into the new school could very likely have covered the costs of both land acquisition and moving the RSB.

And we would still have not just a partial shell of the outside of the RSB, but the entire building, outside and inside, and the latter would not have to be gutted for "modern" use, a use that the SSD kept shifting as it ran into problems.

Is it too late to remedy this destructive, divisive, costly mistake?

Lisa Surowiec,  November 22, 2010 at 12:35 PM  

So, a little cautious, happy news. While I was helping with the Museum move this weekend, I was told that the Board has in fact found some property to purchase, and have signed the papers. This will keep the collections in Town Center, just outside of the boundary of Richmond Highlands.

So I would ask this: keep the Museum in your thoughts. Watch for requests for help, as they fix up the new place, and move the collections and exhibits one more time. Find a donation when they need to raise funds.

There may be few positives to this process, as it seems that neither "side" believes facts or timelines of the other. However, there is now much greater awareness of this place, and that can surely be turned into positive, constructive energy.

Anonymous,  November 22, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

I'm the one who wants to help the museum by asking the city to pitch in. The word is the museum bought some land that needs to be substantially developed.

So here is how the city could help. The Shoreline Historical Museum has only one staff member. There are private foundation grants, state, local, and federal grants the museum might qualify for, as well as other pots of money to get a new, green, and sustainable building put up.

The city has grant writing specialist, as well as contacts, that could help leverage some of the money the museum already has - they will need more to put together a facility.

We, as a community, need to ask the city council to direct the staff to support the Shoreline Historical Museum in this effort, much as they did the Sunset Elementary park effort, to mention an example.

The Shoreline Comprehensive Plan includes elements that mention preserving, protecting, and promoting historical and culture in our community, I would point this out to the city council. Additionally, the Town Center Sub-Area Plan, which will become part of the Shoreline Comprehensive Plan, specifically mentions the Shoreline Historical Museum as a centerpiece of our community -- write to the city council and remind them we need to support the redevelopment of a new building for the Shoreline Historical Museum and they need city staff support in securing the funding - not a handout per se.

I hope these help as a start for talking points, again, I think this is a good way to move forward in a positive direction.

Anonymous,  November 22, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

Regrets and requests for "peace" from those who want the "healing to begin", but little admission that this entire mess was caused by bad decisions by the Shoreline School Board, which is still in denial. They think they are triumphant that they've managed to fool everyone, even themselves into thinking this ripping out the heart of our town center is somehow a "restoration".

Yes, the Museum has another "Agreement in Principle" going for a piece of property. It is a pale substitute though for the "real thing" just down the street. It will be a huge disruption of the mission of the Museum, and then we will be treated to a hideous "gutting and trashing" the interior of the Ronald School. That action, will rip off the scab and remind us all once again of what an incredibly stupid and short sighted project this is.

We'll end up with a Ronald School completely diminished and subsumed into the gigantic and massive new HS, full of kids who will not care a wit about the Landmarked building's destruction or the legacy that is destroyed.

So "let the healing begin", but it will only be healing for the perpetrators. They will all feel much better about their crime and the
cost of covering up their mess.

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