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Finances May Force Alameda Kindergarteners out of St. Joseph High School

By Erica Madison

St. Joseph Elementary School has filed a building permit to move the kindergarten class into a 720 square foot modular building, to be built adjacent to the elementary school.

The building will be placed between the St. Joseph elementary school and the playground. The ability to add a modular classroom has been in the works since November 1999, when the Planning Board approved the master plan for the St. Joseph site.

At a recent Planning Board meeting, board member Marilyn Ashcraft shed light on why the elementary school would move a classroom, which has resided in the St. Joseph Notre Dame High School for over 21 years.

“St. Joseph Elementary feels they are being squeezed financially with the upkeep of Marianist Hall,” she said.

Ashcraft has visited the site planned for development. According to her, St. Joseph Notre Dame high school is asking St. Joseph Elementary to foot the bill for a large portion of the maintenance for Marianist Hall. Instead of complying with this request, the elementary school has decided it would better for the kindergarteners to leave the high school and build a modular building next to St. Joseph Elementary.

According to the application filed on May 24, 2012:

“The proposed addition will allow these children to be with children closer to their age.”

Board member Ashcraft stated her opposition to the application, by pointing out that this had never been a problem in the twenty years that the kindergarten classroom had resided at St. Joseph Notre Dame high school. She also pointed out that the classroom would not have bathrooms, which is an inconvenience, since the high school does have bathrooms for the students.

“(The kindergarteners) will lose playground space and it presents problems for the neighborhoods in the area,” said Ashcraft.

The Planning Board hasn’t made a decision yet. However the staff report is recommending the Planning Board approve the application. The meeting has been continued, but Ashcraft ended the discussion with a plea for the elementary and high school to come to a resolution that wouldn’t require the modular classroom.

1 comment to Finances May Force Alameda Kindergarteners out of St. Joseph High School

  • Erik Coker

    I don’t understand Ashcraft’s opposition? I think it is a dangerous place for a planning board member to inject their personal opinion and assumption of facts. I am sure the school’s administration and parents have weighed all legitimate concerns and decided what was in the best interest of the school. I would understand if there were more legitimate mechanical or aesthetic issues that there were concerns over. Just reading this can get a homeowner worried if you have to please this type of person before you do anything with your house in this town. The planning board should stick to the basic code issues and not interject personal opinion. Ascraft’s opinion on how a private entity spends money it down right scary in my opinion.

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