Notes from NBC meeting August 28, 2003 Bessie Carmichael Library 6-7pm

In attendance: Jeffrey T. Burgos (New Principal at Bessie Carmichael/FEC), Joann (parent), Idalia Medina (Parent, SOMCAN intern), Guillermina Rodriguez (Parent, SOMCAN intern), Pi Ra (SF Walk), Rich White (Parent and NBC Consultant), Patrice Johnson (SOMA Child Care, NBC Coordinator), Toks Ajike (SFUSD Project Manager for Bessie), Rhoda Parhams (SFUSD Director of Construction), Tony Irons (SFUSD Retired Chief Operating Officer).

Recorded by: Rich White.  Edited by: Patrice Johnson

Please send email to or call 468-4732 if you have corrections, updates, or suggestions regarding this information.

Pizza, salmon and drinks were served during our informal conversation time 5:30 to 6pm.
Patrice Johnson began the meeting promptly at 6 PM requesting we speak in turn introducing ourselves and sharing any new ideas related to the Countdown celebration. What activities should follow our “almost” groundbreaking the delays in building due to site preparation? Our new Principal, Jeffery Burgos wants to post a count down calendar and dedicate the front two
bulletin boards for NBC use and count down, days to opening, to be changed every day.


SFUSD Facilities Presentation
Rhoda Parhams, Director of Construction for the District Facilities, and Toks Ajike Project Manager for the Building of the new Bessie, began with the project updates:


The completion of the piers, if there is no complications, will be Sept. 8 or 9th.


Rhoda said that SFUSD takes digital pictures regularly and suggests post pictures! She also suggested having the school children to watch some of the construction from the current school yard.  The site is unsafe for children to visit but is easy to see from Bessie or from the street. It would be instructional for the children to see the pumping of the concrete and the lowering of the cages into the hole. "Let the children see the construction!"
Surprise Guest Tony Irons

Surprise Guest Tony Irons joined the meeting at 6:15 to help answer questions and received a wonderful welcome.  He is enjoying retirement in Mexico and will continue to visit San Francisco periodically.  He plans to see this project completed.
Questions for SFUSD:

1. Delays, will they affect the project completion date?

No, we have an aggressive schedule. We are saving time now as drilling is going quickly.  There is some time for compression built into the schedule.  At this point no delays are expected. 

2. Delays, does the delay set back the opening date of the new school?

No, there was site preparation delays but the time was always well spent as unseen work continued. We also expect to make up some time with Swinerton as they build with steel. Barring natural disasters or extreme circumstances, the project will open on time for the first day of school for children.  If any delay were to happen, the Superintendent has committed to keeping children at Bessie until the opening of the new school.  No relocation plans would be made for children.  If for any reason children could not occupy the new building on the first day of school, they would continue at the current school until the new school is available. 

3. How will we move into the new building?

The date for moving is August 17, 2004. It will be done by phase in, examples like the
library will be moved then the childcare etc.  Some furniture moving may begin during the final phase of construction.  Children are not allowed in the building until the construction is complete.

4. Will the building be truly completed or will there still be pick up work required to finish?

Yes, we will almost be there and it is possible that patch work may continue on weekends and evenings. There is a contractor problem having workmen in the building the same time as the children.

5. Recess and play area for the children?

Tony responded that in a large meeting with over 100 parents present parents voted overwhelmingly not to move to Enola Maxwell and knowing that an incompleted recess area at school opening was a likely occur because Park and Rec could not work on the play area during 2003-4 if children were attending school.  There will be the small space that can be used at the new Bessie and perhaps, the use of the Rec. Center could increase.

[Pi Ra from SF Walk said that the increase in children crossing Folsom to the Rec. Center becomes a safety issue and he is interested in working with the DPT about increased crosswalk and school signs for safety.  He cautioned that installing new signage can be a lengthy process].

Tony also suggested taking it up with Park and Recreation and attend public meetings for the Park Bond Renovation.

6. On the subject of the Park play area, there was an idea of having the park start this project the summer of 04?

This is a great idea but is a Park decision.  He suggests a meeting with Mary Tienkin from Park and Rec.

7. The signatures, what will become of them?

(several signatures from the San Francisco Studio, some famous actors and actresses, are engraved in the wall).

The signature wall will be cut out and replaced. The wall is damaged by cracks but all attempts will be made to save it.

8. What will happen to the artifacts found during excavation for the NBC?

The items found (one of the reasons for delay in site preparation), will be displayed in the new school with explanations and historical significance (not yet complete and still being studied).
There were no other questions and Tony, Rhoda and Toks departed.

Rich White shared that on the first day of school many staff and parents were very concerned about the amount of dust in the current school yard.  The next day he happened to walk into a meeting of Construction representatives including Swinerton and SFUSD while looking to introduce himself to construction managers on site.  He asked that additional considerations be made if possible regarding the dust created by the construction.

In the NBC meeting the dust issue was discussed further.  Principal Burgos said that many people had also come to him with concerns about the dust.  He said that the week before school started there were large quantities of dust in the yard.  At the time of the NBC meeting it was too early to tell if the construction team had been able to find a solution to the dust problem. 


Countdown Event Discussion continued

Daily Countdown.  Jeffrey Burgos will coordinate a daily countdown on the bulletin board in the front hallway of the school beginning now counting to August 17th, 2004.

Construction viewing trips were discussed for the children, one class at a time, those teachers who wish to participate, to view the construction when an event was happening from the safety of sidewalk on the Bessie side of the street or from the current play ground.  Principal Burgos will communicate with teachers about this idea.  Rich White will check to see if there are any set times when it would be possible to know when the piers are going in. 

A Pot Luck Event was discussed as we again have something to celebrate! The idea may bring in more families.

Other possibilities: Coordinating with local restaurants to have “New Bessie Countdown nights,” possibly fundraisers, additional coin drives, school assemblies.  Rich and Patrice will take these ideas and present a calendar next NBC meeting. 


NBC Community Coalition involvement.  The NBC Community Coalition is a group of neighborhood organizations that support the work of the core NBC group.  Patrice will be scheduling a Community Coalition meeting soon.  More next mtg.


Family Resource Component. This will be discussed next meeting.  We will go over NBC’s original ideas for the Family Resource or “beacon-like” component and add new items and ideas if family goals and needs have changed.

Please come to our next meeting Thursday September 18, 2003 6-7pm (Dinner and Childcare provided).
Our next regularly scheduled meeting is September 18 from 6-7 PM with informal food, drinks, discussion from 5:30-6 PM.

Respectfully, Rich White.

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