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Old 06-14-2017, 07:43 AM   #141
Rover
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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I'm deeply involved in politics (numerous people on here that know me personally can attest to that) and have followed various school approval votes in the greater Boston area (for schools I've worked on the design of). I can say that notion of not ponying up for shiny objects is just false. They want shiny objects & the MSBA gives out money like crazy. Voters typically overwhelmingly support building new schools in their neighborhoods because the current ones are pretty much all overcapacity anyway and/or old/outdated, regardless of any new development in the pipeline. And I'm of course not saying the schools have to be done by the time the new developments might open, but there has to be some kind of growth plan in place that is ready for implementation.
Again, this is a straw man argument (for the 2nd time). Nobody is saying voters don't approve new schools. They do so when they see, visually, a need. Believe it or not, but I've been involved in local politics too! In my town, they take a census every year. Recently they went to the voters and said based on those numbers there's going to be a huge influx of kids using the school system, so we need to expand one elementary school, take back a former school to use for 6th grade, then think about a new high school. It passed and you know why? People can visually see all the kids in town, from play groups to just who's moving into the neighborhoods. But, people aren't going to pay up now for the benefit of future residents 20 years from now. Either they get something or they vote against it.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:48 AM   #142
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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Rover, read my posts over. These improvements should happen in conjunction, not before the project is built. Voters are also not reactionary. If they were, then they wouldn't be fighting against this project would they? In regards to your last statement, the onus should be put on the developers to make the community aware. The goal is to get them on their side right?
NO! Its not the developers job to figure out what the community wants/needs especially since the community is often really fractured or wants absurd BS. How about the community takes some responsibility of their own maybe?

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A well planned project should be held to a standard where everyone at the end benefits. A well planned project should also help plant the seed for future developments elsewhere.
This is an absurd standard right out of the page of Shirley Kressel. So if a project benefits a bunch of people but a few people are left no better or worse than before, we shouldn't build it? Projects are responsible for planting the seed for future development? ooookaayyyy then. I think we're done here but I'll say Hi to you at the next Occupy Wall St get-together.
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Old 06-14-2017, 01:54 PM   #143
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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NO! Its not the developers job to figure out what the community wants/needs especially since the community is often really fractured or wants absurd BS. How about the community takes some responsibility of their own maybe?
If the developers do not feel like it's part of their responsibility to ensure that what they are building is not detrimental to those that currently live in the surrounding area, then they and YIMBYs like you have no right to complain about them complaining and fighting this development, especially when the YIMBYs come from areas NOT affected by the development.

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This is an absurd standard right out of the page of Shirley Kressel. So if a project benefits a bunch of people but a few people are left no better or worse than before, we shouldn't build it? Projects are responsible for planting the seed for future development? ooookaayyyy then. I think we're done here but I'll say Hi to you at the next Occupy Wall St get-together.
Asking for improvement in infrastructure (which most of the work will come from the city) in conjunction with the project is an absurd standard? Smart planning a development that could translate into further development elsewhere is absurd? I have a city that you'll love. It's called Dubai. Or better yet, why don't you live abroad in China for a few years. Their government have a habit of building large projects without developing the infrastructure to support them.

Last edited by KentXie; 06-14-2017 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:28 AM   #144
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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Their government have a habit of building large projects without developing the infrastructure to support them.
And then the luxury of building roughshod through neighbourhoods with impunity when they do decide to build the supporting infrastructure.

Rather than continuing to argue over uncertainty in the future need for classroom seats, as JumboBuc highlighted, could we not simply say that the developer needs to reserve a block in a future phase to 'civic amenities'? Surely we could use more neighbourhood meeting space, low-cost nonprofit and social innovation startup incubator space, libraries, etc?

Someone in a thread somewhere else mentioned interestingly how funding dynamics of state education grants seems to disallow the use of a mix of public-private funding to ensure classrooms get built when and where we need them. It's always struck me as odd that we don't build more schools into developments as is done in New York City, but I'm also aware ― as is the common refrain on here ― that 'New York is a different beast'. What lessons about integrated city resource planning and the need to allow BPS to use a mix of funding sources to build their infrastructure more sustainably can we borrow and translate here?

I think this is ultimately what Data is concerned about: as a multi-year build out, neither the city nor the developer seems to have a plan or acknowledging the need to possibly accommodate more classroom space as needed.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:37 AM   #145
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

Seems reasonable to set aside space in the 3 midrise towers to make the nimby extortionists go away.

*provided they remain at 236', 236', + 248'.

Last edited by odurandina; 03-22-2018 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:28 AM   #146
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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neither the city nor the developer seems to have a plan or acknowledging the need to possibly accommodate more classroom space as needed.
The city has a huge excess classroom space and school buildings. McKinsey found that BPS has ~93,000 seats, but only ~55,000 students. Why do you feel we need to build more?

Sure, some schools could be improved by converting classroom space into other facilities. E.g. some schools do not have libraries, but have excess classrooms. But there is still so many extra seats that the system is able to absorb a lot of students into currently empty classrooms while also investing in converting some empty classrooms into improved facilities.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:28 AM   #147
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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The city has a huge excess classroom space and school buildings. McKinsey found that BPS has ~93,000 seats, but only ~55,000 students. Why do you feel we need to build more?

Sure, some schools could be improved by converting classroom space into other facilities. E.g. some schools do not have libraries, but have excess classrooms. But there is still so many extra seats that the system is able to absorb a lot of students into currently empty classrooms while also investing in converting some empty classrooms into improved facilities.
This is absurd. So they're supposed to bus students from these extremely dense new developments in Charlestown to empty ancient, decrepit schools in Roxbury, JP, Rozzie, etc instead of building a new modern school as part of the new neighborhood they are building in Charlestown? You'd rather them send kids all over the city to schools that are falling apart than have a centralized walkable neighborhood school that is built to modern pedagogy standards?

And it's not just schools. It's transit, it's utility infrastructure, it's other civic functions. They're building a whole damn new neighborhood here and none of the infrastructure to support it/help it thrive.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:07 AM   #148
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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This is absurd. So they're supposed to bus students from these extremely dense new developments in Charlestown to empty ancient, decrepit schools in Roxbury, JP, Rozzie, etc instead of building a new modern school as part of the new neighborhood they are building in Charlestown? You'd rather them send kids all over the city to schools that are falling apart than have a centralized walkable neighborhood school that is built to modern pedagogy standards?

And it's not just schools. It's transit, it's utility infrastructure, it's other civic functions. They're building a whole damn new neighborhood here and none of the infrastructure to support it/help it thrive.
About 15 years ago the residents of Beacon Hill offered to buy a building and donate it to the city for a new school and Menino rejected it saying there were too many schools. The problem is that legacy schools are hard to close or downsize so the system isn't efficient for students or for budget purposes.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:24 AM   #149
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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This is absurd. So they're supposed to bus students from these extremely dense new developments in Charlestown to empty ancient, decrepit schools in Roxbury, JP, Rozzie, etc instead of building a new modern school as part of the new neighborhood they are building in Charlestown? You'd rather them send kids all over the city to schools that are falling apart than have a centralized walkable neighborhood school that is built to modern pedagogy standards?

And it's not just schools. It's transit, it's utility infrastructure, it's other civic functions. They're building a whole damn new neighborhood here and none of the infrastructure to support it/help it thrive.
I believe all four public schools located in Charlestown are running under capacity.

Charlestown High, for example, only had 960 students, but a capacity of 1,200. (And some of the enrollment is not from Charlestown, but bussed in from other parts of the city, so could be redirected to open up even more capacity locally.)
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:28 AM   #150
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
This is absurd. So they're supposed to bus students from these extremely dense new developments in Charlestown to empty ancient, decrepit schools in Roxbury, JP, Rozzie, etc instead of building a new modern school as part of the new neighborhood they are building in Charlestown? You'd rather them send kids all over the city to schools that are falling apart than have a centralized walkable neighborhood school that is built to modern pedagogy standards?

And it's not just schools. It's transit, it's utility infrastructure, it's other civic functions. They're building a whole damn new neighborhood here and none of the infrastructure to support it/help it thrive.
Yes it is absurd but the city has been busing kids all over the place since the 70s...itís dumb. Most of the kids at the Edwards middle come from outside ctown.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:45 AM   #151
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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Yes it is absurd but the city has been busing kids all over the place since the 60s...itís dumb. Most of the kids at the Edwards middle come from outside ctown.
"Because we've always done it that way" is never an excuse for not trying something new (and in this case it's not new - it's a return to 19th century neighborhood schools). We're building new modern STEM-ready charter schools like crazy meanwhile BPS schools are languishing & have outdated facilities. We can do better.

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I believe all four public schools located in Charlestown are running under capacity.

Charlestown High, for example, only had 960 students, but a capacity of 1,200. (And some of the enrollment is not from Charlestown, but bussed in from other parts of the city, so could be redirected to open up even more capacity locally.)
Can you send this data? It was not in the presentation.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:48 PM   #152
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

Not sure what the argument is about here. If this renovated housing project is in Charlestown, and the Charlestown schools are under capacity, why does the developer need to build a new school??? If you'd like them to pony up some $$$ for renovating existing structures, sure, but recall that you can only go to the well so many times. As in you're also hitting them up for affordable housing at some point they're going to walk away from doing the project.

Also, while a more efficient distribution of school building might be nice, the big, BIG problem here is that there's very little room to do so. Even in my town, everyone agrees that we need a new high school, but the problem is there's zero space to build unless you put it where the old one is sitting. Schools + playgrounds + parking = large lot sizes which aren't exactly plentiful in the city.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:23 PM   #153
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

Also busing students has actually worked out well in Boston by distributing the income levels of students more evenly which relieves the pressure off of all the schools and prevents the Boston school system from encountering some of the same equity issues that other cities like DC for example have been experiencing. There are pros and cons to each option, but busing is not a completely negative thing.

If the schools in Charlestown/Boston as a whole have excess capacity I don't understand why this is seen as such a huge issue.
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:00 PM   #154
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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Not sure what the argument is about here. If this renovated housing project is in Charlestown, and the Charlestown schools are under capacity, why does the developer need to build a new school??? If you'd like them to pony up some $$$ for renovating existing structures, sure, but recall that you can only go to the well so many times. As in you're also hitting them up for affordable housing at some point they're going to walk away from doing the project.
Hitting them up for affordable housing.....the affordable housing they are putting up is to replaced the section 8 housing that they are demolishing. There is no net gain in affordable housing.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:46 PM   #155
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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Hitting them up for affordable housing.....the affordable housing they are putting up is to replaced the section 8 housing that they are demolishing. There is no net gain in affordable housing.
But brand new housing is different than decrepit housing.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:27 AM   #156
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

Technically, they aren't demolishing section 8 housing, but are actually adding section 8 housing. Existing units are old school style public housing. They'll be replaced by units that have project based vouchers attached to them. That's the general trend for legacy public housing developments when they're redeveloped.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:46 AM   #157
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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"Because we've always done it that way" is never an excuse for not trying something new (and in this case it's not new - it's a return to 19th century neighborhood schools). We're building new modern STEM-ready charter schools like crazy meanwhile BPS schools are languishing & have outdated facilities. We can do better.



Can you send this data? It was not in the presentation.
I actually inferred this from historical attendance. When the building opened in 1978 it housed about 1200 students. Today only 959. I figure when you open a new building you probably are going to allocate students to design capacity.

http://buildbps.org/data/schools/056...own_report.pdf
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:07 AM   #158
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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But brand new housing is different than decrepit housing.
Yes I understand but my point was Rover was making it seem like community is asking the developers to build affordable housing where it didn't exist before. The number of affordable housing units proposed are 1:1 with the existing amount of section 8 housing and are being built so they aren't displacing all the lower income families that currently live there.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:17 AM   #159
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

two words; pre approved.

This project ain't worthy of controversy.

Boston is becoming a city... seeing modest increases of density.

Plan to fight it? I wish you luck (Lee Van Cleef voice).
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:11 PM   #160
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Re: BHA Charlestown/Bunker Hill redevelopment

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Yes I understand but my point was Rover was making it seem like community is asking the developers to build affordable housing where it didn't exist before. The number of affordable housing units proposed are 1:1 with the existing amount of section 8 housing and are being built so they aren't displacing all the lower income families that currently live there.
I believe Rover was suggesting that the developer is bearing the cost of rebuilding the units. Profits from market rate housing can only support so much.
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