Neighbors petition against new school


Neighbors of Jefferson-Houston elementary school opposed to redeveloping the site as a public-private building have petitioned the City Council for a meeting with officials to voice their concerns. 

Resident Damon Colbert, a leading opponent of the plan, criticized the School Board for failing to schedule public forums to discuss the proposal, which he fears will lead to high-rise buildings, increased traffic and a loss of green space. 

Im not against a public-private partnership if its done right, and what they have proposed does not appear to be well thought out, Colbert said. “It does not appear to take into account what it would do to the community. Its one-sided and short-sighted.

While Colbert worries the School Board will move the project ahead without informing voters, School Board Chairman Yvonne Folkerts said the idea is in the conceptual stage. The board will improve efforts to engage the community nearer to the start of the school year, she said.  

But Colbert wants to meet with city officials before then. He hopes to sit down with Vice Mayor Kerry Donley before the end of the month. Donleys office confirmed the vice mayor is scheduling a meeting with the residents.