That’s the first word that came to mind when Rolf Silbert first shared his new alternative school design concept – above at right. He sent it to every DMUSD school board member yesterday, hoping to obtain a dedicated 15 minute time slot at tonight’s board meeting to properly present the concept to the school board and the community.
Here’s a link to a pdf of the design (19 pages) with a full explanation of its advantages. CLICK HERE
To orient you, the pdf starts by identifying the redesign goals, then shows how the district’s new school design falls short on safety, drop-off and pick-up convenience and burden, and playfield space. He then shows how his alternative design is a substantial improvement in each of these areas – plus environmentally superior by leveraging already existing community infrastructure.
Rolf is known to our community as an active leader, coach, etc. What you may not know is that he’s also a professional mechanical design engineer with a knack for solving insoluble problems. As you can see from the attached slides, he put a ton of work into this design, and has explained it in detail. We’ve only had a brief opportunity to review it, but here are some quick observations:
Rolf’s design doesn’t change, add, shrink, or remove ANY facilities from the new school design – he left everything untouched and just moved some things around. He likely realized the district was simply unwilling to consider anyone touching their building design. Conservative.
Rolf explains how his alternative design significantly improves on the school’s new design in key respects:
- improves student safety with better fire and emergency vehicle access, vetted by the fire department
- improves drop-off and pick-up traffic flow and safety, while at the same time reducing the traffic queue on Boquita even more than the district’s new design would
- provides numerous new walking and other non-vehicle entry and exit points into the school, both improving safety exits in a crisis, and fulfilling the board’s written goal of encouraging student exercise by providing more walking paths to school
- increases fields from 59,000 square feet (current school design) to 130,400 square feet (30,000 square feet less than today)
His design seems to do this without compromising the key objectives of the school’s current design:
- no change in any buildings
- single story design
- retains doubled parking capacity and long drop-off and pick-up queue
- no change in 30′ MUR with ocean views
One reason we think this design deserves consideration by all of us is that it attacks 2 of the 3 key problems we had previously identified in the current school design. It both removes the gratuitous “community park” and uses existing infrastructure on Mira Montana for parking, drop-off, and pick-up during the few minutes each day where those occur. You can see in our image below that he dealt with the 17,000 square foot problem and the 44,000 square foot problem, both of which we believe are extremely poor trades for less field space.
Take a look and let us know what you think.
Although the board was unable to accommodate Rolf’s request for additional time to present his design, he intends to use his three minutes of public comment to point to the highlights of the design that are key to finding a balanced solution that the entire community can support. We believe this design has great potential for full community buy-in. We’ve heard already from many residents who live near the school that this design is preferred over the district’s current plan.
Please take a few minutes now to spread the word on Rolf’s design.
Thank you, Rolf, for the investment in our community.