Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New web site LeboDesign.net offers constructive look at the high-school project (Updated)

Updated 2011-07-21 10:45 with links to additional coverage.

Here’s something interesting. Dan Rothschild, president of the architecture and urban-design firm Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, and also a member of the Community Advisory Committee appointed by the school board to review the plans for high-school project in late 2009, has started a blog. Called LeboDesign.net, the blog “is dedicated to increasing public participation and input during the process of redesigning the Mt. Lebanon High School project.”

Already, the blog has several informative posts. If you’re like me and have had trouble making sense of the design and architectural complexities of the high-school renovation, you’ll want to read these posts.

The very first post, for example, puts the school board’s current predicament into perspective:
Our School Board has embarked on a process to substantially alter the design of the high school because of the unfortunate position of having the low bid for the project come in nearly twenty percent over budget. This is a very challenging task. Their process will yield one of three outcomes:
  1. They will find enough items to cut, and the design intent and function of the high school will be acceptable
  2. They will find enough items to cut, and the design intent and function of the high school will not be acceptable
  3. They will not find enough items to cut
The School Board is heavily invested in outcome #1.
But what if option #1 isn’t possible? Or what if the cuts cut too much? These are difficult questions, and considering them, and others like them, is what Mr. Rothschild says LeboDesign.net is all about. The site exists to foster discussion, to encourage collaboration, and to offer the community and the school board options and perspectives that they might not get otherwise:
The purpose of lebodesign.net is to help you play an active role in the redesign process, from the comfort of your own home (or portable electronic device), for this important project that will affect our community for a long time. Another purpose is to assist School Board members in getting more input from their constituents.
Whatever your thoughts on the high-school project, take a look at LeboDesign.net. It’s an interesting, constructive response to the challenges faced by the high-school project.

And, while you’re there, contribute your thoughts.

Additional coverage:

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