New Bessie Carmichael Meeting April 03 2003, 5:30 pm Bessie Carmichael Library

Attending: District officers:  Philip M. Smith, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Real estate, Toks Ajike, Project Manager for the NBC, and Richard D. Pio Roda, District Trial Attorney and Facilities Advisor.  12 parents and community members.  

The meeting started with introductions by the parents and community representatives.


Toks Ajike. Project Manager update:  The soils are still being excavated and removed.  State DTSD (Department of Toxins & Substance Debasement) are involved.  A slight delay was caused when 18th century bottles were unearthed and archeologists have been involved in another location. Japanese artifacts including ceramics, extremely rare in South of Market, have also been found.  This has the archeological community very excited.  This is requiring additional excavations and they are in hopes that this does not delay the start date of construction but there is a possibility of delay if additional items are found.  Just today, April 03, a metal object has been discovered that is unknown.  Artifacts found will be displayed in the new school with historical stories and descriptions.  Toks Ajike also mentioned that the area has a high water table, which compounds the problem of toxic soils.  The project is on schedule, a very tight schedule and any delay could become a problem.  There are 15 days left for the contractors bidding out the steel and concrete. 

Phil Smith described the Remediation Plan.  The plan for:  traffic, trucks and materials delivery, access to the old school, drop and pick up points etc.  This has not yet been fully developed.  Plans regarding changes to the area and construction will affect the children. State requirements for remediation plans will be followed.  Control of dust and clean up will be ongoing and times will be announced for loud sounds. 

Question:  Has there been a plan worked out for traffic? 

Phil Smith: no, it is in the works.  Our first concerns are for safety and to work with the school when in session and with the contractor. 

Question:  Will this be worked out over the course of the summer? 

Phil: This matter will have continued attention from Project Manager Toks Ajike.


Question:  Has the money for building the new school truly then, been identified? 

Phil Smith:  I cannot tell you that the money for the Bartlet St. Resolution has been allocated for Bessie.  Most Board members mentioned the use of these funds would be used for the building of Bessie Carmichael and it was the intention of board members to use leveraged real estate for a portion of the funds for the new Bessie.  However, the resolution does not specify in writing that the funds will be used for the new Bessie Carmichael.

Question:  The money from the lease to City College, how do we make sure that money is used for Bessie? 

Phil Smith:  You do not need to approach this.  When money comes to the Board after the transaction, they need to vote to use the money for Bessie. 


Question:  From the way we have been treated before, we are concerned about the money being spent somewhere else. 

Phil Smith:  The Board will choose by voting what will happen to this money.

Question:  Last year, 7th and Lawton was identified, what happened to this? 

Phil Smith:  This was only an information item at the School Board.  7th and Lawton was never sold or leveraged; there was no contract; it was not a property that was proposed for leveraged real estate or sale.

Question:  Could you explain the Prop. A and B (State Hardship) bond, and are these moneys in place? 

Phil Smith:  Yes, this money, between 4 and 6 million, is in place.  We are still finalizing the cost of the new school.  We are now using these funds.  When this money is used, then we will begin to use the leveraged real-estate money.

Question: Please clarify the mandate to the resolution (City College). 

Phil Smith:  The 3rd phase money will be used as needed for the project.  The Board will allocate funds as needed.  Transactions will occur to debit the account to build the school when needed. 
Will these decisions to allocate funds be closed session or public?  Phil Smith:  Public.

Comment: There is no assurance that the school will be built.  We are concerned these funds will be spent somewhere else. 

Phil Smith:  There is no MOU. There is no way to assure you.  But this school will be built.  We are committed to this.  I called this meeting tonight.  I called Patrice so you could see me.  I say it.  This school will be built!

Question about the construction: 

Phil Smith and Toks Ajike:  They will be driving piers, expect loud pile driving, cranes will be lifting steel. There will be no tours until the area is secure. 

Question about the cost of cement and building costs: 

Phil Smith:  We do not know as bids will be in April 20.  We have spent 2.6 million.  This has been in soft costs like planning and Architects and site preparation.  Total construction costs include concrete and steel, framing, electrical and plumping etc.

Question:  Are the inspectors in place? 

Phil Smith:  Yes.

Question: Have the moneys spent come from the Prop A &B bonds? 

Phil Smith:  Yes, the 2.6 has been spent from the 4 - 6 that was in place.

Question: What will be the total estimated cost for this building? 

Phil Smith:  12 13 million.

Comment: We were told in the past the cost would be closer to 16 million. 

Phil Smith:  The money is in place to build this building.

A question concerning cutbacks, changes in design

Phil Smith:  My intentions are to make updates and not decisions in construction.  A change has been made due to technology advances in the last three years.  Phone and Internet access will be wireless.  There will be no need to hard wire. The building will be built with changes.  The building will be built as designed but modified.

Question about the Harrison St. Property. 

Phil Smith:  We were approached by the Redevelopment Agency.  We are not interested in the proposal or working with this agency on this property.  The District has a responsibility to look after its assets.  We have done a good job communicating this to the public.  There was no analysis study or transaction done with Redevelopment on this site.  That does not mean there may not in the future.  I stand on my record.  I will be straightforward with you.  I am open to request and comment.

Question: Will we be able to see a hard copy of the visual costs? 

Phil Smith:  Probably not.  This will become public document at project completion. 

Comment: Due to the move that didn't happen, the miscommunications, and the distrust this has caused, we should be able to see the plans. 

Phil Smith:  Reaches and produces the completed approved plans for the building of the new Bessie Carmichael.  (this is the first time we have seen the approved plans). I cannot speak for the past but there is a promise to build this new school.  There are a lot of us committed to make this happen.  The District is committed to build this school.  There was a three-way property swap that occurred:  1.  The Excelsior Youth Center.  2.  This site, Bessie Carmichael, transferred to Park and Recreation to build a park and the new school site given to SFUSD.   3. 7th and Lawton property was given to the District by the Water Department in the Excelsior Youth Center Exchange.  They, (the District) brought Tony Irons and myself on board to get this new school built.  This is Arlene Ackerman's highest priority.  My job was to identify properties to leverage.  Questions are still asked: what happened? where did the money go? Why was nothing done?  Well, there were misappropriations and the funds that were allocated for this project were lost.  I then went out to find a place for the children of Bessie while the new school was built.  I then went out and identified properties to leverage.  I worked with the Redevelopment Agency, the City, and transacted the long-term lease with City College for 7.5 million.  Then the move of the children is off and we work to develop a plan to build the new school while children attend the old school.  It is wise to review with you and having open comments is not a problem (Phil passed out his business cards).          

Meeting adjourned 7pm. Next meeting Thursday April 24, 5:30pm.

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