School District of Clayton
Monday, June 15, 2009 - 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Board of Education Meeting-CHS Library
Regular Business Meeting
Dear Old Town Clayton Neighbors,
The Clayton Board of Education has an agenda item to vote on at their upcoming meeting tonight - Monday, June 15, 2009 to declare the Maryland School property surplus and place it on the market for development. The following email was forwarded to me with an attachment. I have been asked to share this document with the Old Town residents for their review.
Lastly, if you know of any good potential candidates to elect to the School Board in the Old Town/Hanley Place/Clayton Gardens area, please let me know so I can pass that information along.
Thanks and Regards,
President, Old Town Clayton Neighborhood Association
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
It appears that I have become an unofficial spokesman for a portion of Clayton due to my efforts to help preserve a much needed green space over the past year or so and due to the recent success of the Clayton Community Garden on the Maryland School site. The Board of Education has an agenda item to vote at their upcoming meeting on Monday, June 15, 2009 to declare this property surplus and place it on the market for development.
A group of approximately 40 Clayton residents provided insight and advice at a meeting earlier this week. The attached document represents their collective thoughts on the topic.
WE ASK THAT YOU REVIEW THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT, PRINT IT OUT , SIGN IT AND SEND IT VIA MAIL OR EMAIL TO THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT THE POSSIBLE SALE OF THIS PROPERTY. PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND THE BOE MEETING ON MONDAY, JUNE 15 TO VOICE YOUR CONCERN AS WELL.
We also ask that you forward this attachment to other Clayton residents you know who are interested in preserving green and historic space within the City of Clayton. We will never get back land like this if it is sold and we urge you to help in our efforts to ask the Board of Education to review this proposal more closely.
Thanks for your time and interest.
Clayton Citizens for the Preservation of Neighborhood Schools
As residents of the City of Clayton we feel that a discussion regarding the sale of the Maryland and Bracken Buildings is premature and should be reviewed further before a vote is cast. We respectfully submit a request that the Board of Education members vote to table this proposed agenda item for the following reasons:
1) There needs to be a well conceived updated Master Plan for all of the facilities in the Clayton School District one that takes into account the Wydown and Maryland/Bracken properties in the current economic and political times
2) The economy and real estate markets are much different than they were three years ago when the Highest and Best Use for the Maryland School Property analysis was last done during the height of the real estate bubble as well as even a year and a half ago when the Properties and Partnerships Subcommittee prepared their report
3) There is an identified need for green space and park space within the City of Clayton that is currently met and could be maintained at this site especially considering the fact that it abuts the Historic Hanley House
4) There are numerous innovative educational uses that could be conceived for grades K-12 at this space including the teaching of real life skills such as finances, home economics and agriculture perhaps in conjunction with Hanley House
5) There may very well be a need for additional schools in the future as demographics change as evidenced by the current need to repurchase land in Ladue and other places around the country where properties which were deemed surplus at the time are now needed to house students
6) The buildings themselves have much historic value as prime examples of William Ittner’s work considering more than 35 of his schools are listed on the National Register of Historic Places
7) For more than 160 years this land has been an integral part of Clayton history first as part of the Hanley Farm then as a gift to the City 132 years ago and next as part of a land deal with the School District of Clayton 118 years ago and has housed a school on Maryland Avenue for 92 years
8) The field space, basketball courts and other athletic amenities at the site could and should be used by the School District
9) There is a continued threat of encroachment and erosion of this space by Washington University and other commercial uses into the neighborhoods of Clayton that is feared throughout the City
10) The Board of Education has a responsibility to represent the needs of this quadrant of Clayton by involving the neighbors in decision making regarding this property which predated the City and the neighborhood
11) Maryland Elementary School is a neighborhood school (defined as being within a child's walking distance, +/- 1/2 mile, from the home) just as are all the other Clayton elementary schools. Neighborhood school is one of the core concepts of the Clayton master plan. To eliminate the future access to and ownership of this facility in Old Town/Hanley Place/Clayton Garden would be a great and permanent loss for the whole City