Wednesday, August 03, 2005

City School's Chief to Meet with Residents Re. Proposed Nottingham CC

Dr. Creg Williams, Superintendent of the St. Louis Public Schools, will meet at 7:00 PM tonite in the cafeteria of St. Gabriel's School, 6303 Nottingham, with interested persons concerning the proposed Nottingham Community Center. The meeting is open to the public.

RB

18 comments:

PonyMommy said...

Since the Super is not a cement pond development wizard or expert on CIDs, this meeting has to do with the future of the education programs/services presently at Nottingham School, in the event the school property ends up in a St. Gabe's CID for redevelopment into a country club, right?

I guess the meeting is at St. Gabe's because Nottingham School was already booked for the evening, right?

Anonymous said...

It's Creg.

Anonymous said...

So how did Creg's pitch on Nottingham's programs as a crucial slice of SLPS go with the St. Gabe crowd? But then again, how many ways can you politely tell the Hauty Hills that this property isn't for sale...

PonyMommy said...

Time to give up on country club and focus on establishing a pool in Francis Park?

Rick Bonasch said...

Mr. Williams was in attendance, and spoke for about 20 minutes about Nottingham School and the proposed community center.

Mr. Williams acknowledged the community for working together to develop a plan for its neighborhood, and stated that he liked the plan.

Re. the future of Nottingham School, Mr. Williams explained that for the community center plan to move forward, there would need to be a comparable school identified to serve the students.

Without making any commitments, Mr. Williams did state that he sees the proposed community center as an opportunity to find a win-win solution, with the students in an even better school facility, and then the neighborhood accomplishing its goal of building a community center.

Mr. Williams provided encouragement, not discouragement, about the potential for the proposed Nottingham Community Center.

RB

PonyMommy said...

The Nottingham School site is prime real estate. If it's for sale, shouldn't cash-strapped SLPS be getting a lot of offers from developers willing to pay way more than whatever SLPS will get from a deal to turn it into a nonprofit country club? Wouldn't it also be in the cash-strapped City's best interests that the property be developed into housing that goes on the property tax rolls?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Emma, if Nottingham is for sale, let a private developer pursue high-end residential.

Carondelet Park remains a location for a truly public rec center and pool accessible by both southwest and southeast city. Ignoring the Holly Hills NIMBYs, this site up against I-55 will reuse the most underutilized peace of this large park.

Anonymous said...

Do you refer to every community center as a "country club" or just the one that the Southwest St. Louis Community Improvement District group is trying to build? Personally, I applaud any group of citizens who sacrifice their time in an effort to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the renderings shared in the link above, I think "country club" is a fair name. But a tax-supported rec center with varied fees taking school property at a reduced bid? That's about as poor public policy as the infamous segregated pools were in Fairgrounds Park.

PonyMommy said...

Unlike the proposed country club for St. Gabe's, the City's community center pools are all open to the public for free.

And somebody please help me out understanding the drawings for the proposed facility. I've looked and looked and looked and I can't locate where the basketball courts will be located. You can play basketball at all of the City's other community centers.

Anonymous said...

B-ball in the hauty hills? Why, even Lafayette Park is now basketball-free. Surely, this CID task force wouldn't want "those kind of people" in the "southwest" St. Louis community. It's bad enough having those youths loitering and racing cars about Willmore Park.

Anonymous said...

Have you had Nottingham School appraised? How do you know the bid was a "reduced" one?

Only those within the CID pay the tax. It is not levied city-wide. Are you suggesting that a small group of people should pay to build the center for the entire city?

Anonymous said...

Wow, kind of funny how negative people are on this blog. You'd think that the first development of a multi-use community center in st.louis in over 30 years might be supported by people interested in stl rising.

Excepting Mr. Bonasch, who seems level headed and positive, this blog seems to be filled with an awful lot of bile, jealousy, and half-cocked info.

What is it about St. Louis, particularly St. Louis City, that brings out the worst in people? Do you find masochistic pleasure in the city being in relatively sad shape it's? There must be a group in this town that is truly not happy unless they are unhappy. Sad.

I am familar with this project and know a few of the people working on it. What i can tell you is this: this group of people has but one goal -- improving St. Louis. They are starting with their own neck of the woods. But their plan, if successful, has positive implications throughout the city.

Community centers in our city are an embarassment. These people decided to get off their asses, spend hundreds of hours developing a concept and are trying to make it happen.

And you know what? This could actually draw more people to live in the city. Bring them back in from the suburbs to which they've fled.

So go ahead and throw stones. Hope it makes you feel better. I've volunteered to help these people. I'm ready when they need me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I, too, am helping with this project, and I know most of the people involved with it. They love the city and give unselfishly of their time to improve it. Those who are critical of their motives simply don't know them or are misinformed.

This is NOT a St. Gabriel's parish project or a St. Louis Hills Neighborhood Association project, although some of those involved belong to both of those groups. In any community there is a core group of folks who do the heavy lifting, so it is only natural that many leaders in the area are part of the community center committee.

I was not a part of the many months of planning that went into getting this project ready for its introduction to the public. However, I do know that the committee members sacrificed even more hours to it than some people spend at their computers being whiney naysayers.

I guess it's easier, though, for people who are immobilized by jealousy and negativity to criticize than to open their eyes and realize that there really are people just want to improve their community.

CA

PonyMommy said...

How do you know the bid was a "reduced" one? Since the CID is in draft stage, and there is no CID nonprofit or political subdivision board in place and no funding in place, how exactly was a bid made for Nottingham? Who was it listed with?

Only those within the CID pay the tax. Perhaps supporters could clear up for us: 1) You're seeking funding within the CID from a) a real estate tax or b) an assessment on real estate? 2) You're seeking the CID to be established as a) a nonprofit or b) political subdivision (if latter, by elected board or appointment by mayor)?

It is not levied city-wide. Funding recreation/community centers solely by CIDs across the City, neighborhood by neighborhood instead of citywide, means creating an even more have and have not City. The Nottingham proposal is an opportunity for an even bigger discussion of how we build and maintain recreation/community assets across the City.

Are you suggesting that a small group of people should pay to build the center for the entire city? There seems to be some confusion among supporters regarding whether the proposed facility could be restricted to property owners. Membership dues to be established in the future further raises eyebrows regarding access by renters. As long as supporters do not rally for a facility inclusive of all residents of the district, supporters are inviting debate as to whether the project has a public or private purpose. A CID likely has the legal right to restrict access to a facility it builds and maintains entirely from funds within the district to residents within the CID if it identifies such in the petition. Legal, however, is different from what is fair, just and good public policy. Exclusive centers mean those without the tax base to build or maintain facilities will go without.

Payment of real estate taxes is not a qualification for access to public libraries and public schools. Do security hired by the City's CIDs or Biz Districts check property taxpayer status before responding to calls within a district?

PonyMommy said...

Wow, kind of funny how negative people are on this blog. This blog attracts people with strong beliefs on where the City is and where it can and should be heading. Sometimes that means being a cheerleader. Other times it means dissenting voice. Neither are a vice. You'd think that the first development of a multi-use community center in st.louis in over 30 years might be supported by people interested in stl rising. Sounds fab till you get to the separate and unequal punch line of the haves v. have nots system of funding centers. The precedence for this proposed facility is what? The only CID community center with a pool that I have come across is Robinwood West. It's free to all residents of the subdivision and at reasonable rates to nonresidents. The Nottingham proponents have yet to identify their plan as being similar.

Excepting Mr. Bonasch, who seems level headed and positive, he be a pirate by night, arrh, sorry, couldn't help myself this blog seems to be filled with an awful lot of bile, example please jealousy, example please and half-cocked info.example please

What is it about St. Louis, particularly St. Louis City, that brings out the worst in people? Now there's a positive sentiment I do not share. Do you find masochistic pleasure in the city being in relatively sad shape it's? The City is better than on the mend. We're thriving but have much more to do, like finding more citywide funding solutions to more citywide problems. There must be a group in this town that is truly not happy unless they are unhappy. Sad. There's a difference between being happy, which I think more City residents are than not, and being totally satisfied, which I don't think most residents are because they think we can do better, which we can. There is a certain charm to the way City residents speak freely of City faults and solutions but get rather indignant when a nonresident brings up the same thing. The bulk of the current population of longtime residents are fiercely loyal to the idea of City living. They believe they have a right to complain about things because, by golly, they stayed when others left. It's a place you either love or hate within a very short period of time, little in between.

I am familar with this project... But their plan, if successful, has positive implications throughout the city. Like what?

Community centers in our city are an embarassment. Yes. Because we do not have a citywide plan with citywide funding. These people decided to get off their asses, spend hundreds of hours developing a concept and are trying to make it happen. But there's the unintended consequence of creating an even more have and have not City.

And you know what? This could actually draw more people to live in the city. Bring them back in from the suburbs to which they've fled. How so? Do folks in the Nottingham School area have trouble finding buyers for their homes?

So go ahead and throw stones. Hope it makes you feel better... I'm sorry that you're offended by debate on this proposal. Our society needs more debate on public policy, not less. My opinion. You're entitled to a different one.

PonyMommy said...

Thank you! I, too, am helping with this project... Those who are critical of their motives simply don't know them or are misinformed. You can be critical of a proposal without being critical of the people behind a proposal.

This is NOT a St. Gabriel's parish project or a St. Louis Hills Neighborhood Association project... How many people are on the organizing committee? How many on the organizing committee are St. Gabe's parishioners? How many are STL Hills property owners?

I was not a part of the many months of planning... whiney naysayers. Namecalling is not constructive.

I guess it's easier, though, for people who are immobilized by jealousy... The jealousy accusation rears its head again. Please provide an example of where someone here has exhibited jealousy on this matter.

A CID or Biz District that provides extra security, trash removal, sidewalk improvements, and lighting within its borders provides services to the greater public good of the City. A district within the City that establishes a restricted facility- and that's where the bulk of the Nottingham proposal's funding would be headed- provides what similar public good to the City?

PonyMommy said...

B-ball in the hauty hills? Why, even Lafayette Park is now basketball-free... St. Louis Hills and Lafayette Park are hardly the only nabes unwilling to provide kids and adults with public basketball courts. The only City maintained public courts south of Delmar and west of Grand are at the 10th Ward's Parkside Center (south of Tower Grove Park) and the 23rd Ward's Tilles Park (Hampton @ Marquette, but courts are at playground, Marquette @ January).

Don't get me started about the Lafayette Park Master Plan to take that park off the list of hard working parks and return it to a strolling park with a Victorian flare- 29 acres sans recreation features, basketball, soccer, softball, etc.