From: White Rabbit
Sent: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015 3:11 PM
Good morning, Nick.
Earlier today Académie Lafayette released a notice detailing their reasons for “stepping away” from negotiations with KCPS for SWECC. I have the sneaky feeling there’s more going on than what they state: what say you?
Hmmm…here’s a scenario for you:
Recently KCPS announced SWECC requires $22 million in renovations.
This is somewhat of a surprise as less than 5 years ago KCPS stated SWECC only needed $3.1 mil in rehab. However the new $22 mil figure serendipitously gives KCPS an “out” to their vexing problem: they can just close the place. In fact today Dr. Green stated that he would only guarantee that SWECC would stay open through next school year. Which means he’ll close SWECC as soon as decency allows. 1
Then…suddenly…SWECC is up for sale! Wow, who’d of thought?
Now maybe ol’ Bob hasn’t actually had a sit down, face-to-face with Académie Lafayette about SWECC, but we’ll give you 5 to 8 that someone from Sustainable Partners has done so. And more than once, at that. Were you a fly 3 on the wall those conversations would have seemed eerily familiar:
X: Hey! You know what? We’ll will lease a portion of the SWECC building we’re buying to you for next to nuthin’
X: Hell to the yeah! The neighbors would look more kindly on us if we keep a school in the mix of eclectic condos, chic gyms and posh art galleries and cafes we’re planning on developing.
O: Sounds good to us.
[/putative conversation – (isn’t this reminiscent of last summer’s Foutch Brothers/Académie Lafayette/Westport High School ménage à trois ?)]
Et voila! A couple years down the line Académie Lafayette has a high school in SWECC. 4
- No need for a vote by the pesky school board – simply decree “the cost to renovate is prohibitive.” ↩
- Yes, Gunnar Hand’s direct report at BNIM, THAT Bob Berkebile. ↩
- Or, given the latest valuation of SWECC, more likely a fly speck, a smeared globule of once-fly left behind by a harried teacher’s filthy plastic swatter. ↩
- And all without having to pander to KC’s Black United Front, Freedom, Inc. (who let their internet domain fail, hence no link), MORE2, SCLC, Urban League, or the Urban Summit…because it will then be a 100% Académie Lafayette Joint. No partnership with KCPS. ↩
- If by I one means a whole bunch of people who have been watching this process for a number of years; credit where credit’s due. ↩
- Of course all the above assumes Académie Lafayette wants SWEC so bad it’s willing to wait until the 2016-17 school year – that’s the earliest this scenario would work, and maybe not until 2017-18. A lot can happen in the interim; if Académie Lafayette’s board wants a high school, they would have a serious Plan B, right? ↩