And The Roof Comes Tumbling, Tumbling Down
Relocating Rickards' Students
Two plans for relocating the students were considered by the school board. One included dividing the students up amongst three closer local schools. The other considered bussing them over 20 miles to Pines Middle School. Both options involved completely disrupting the environment in which the students have become accustomed as well as placing an undue burden on parents that rely on having their kids in a school close to home. The School Board estimated the transportation costs to be about $250,000 for the implementation of either plan, but consideration of other collaterals costs did not appear to be contemplated.
This plan was most likely considered because it paled in comparison to the nearly $9 million dollars that would be needed to build a portable campus. The portable campus would house students while the school buildings are being rebuilt and repaired.
The relocation left community members aghast and they were quick to rally and let their voices be heard.
The Oakland Park Community Rallies To The Cause
On July 21, 2022 Jeff Barnes, a member of the Living In Oakland Park Facebook Group, shared this message from one of the Broward County School Board’s most recent members, teacher Sarah Leonardi:
Oakland Park Mayor, Jane Bolin, at the City’s July 21st Commission meeting encouraged residents to contact the school board to voice their discontent.
Oakland Park City Commissioner, Matthew Sparks, who staunchly opposed splitting up the students, sent the following the School Board.
Rickards' Families Score a Priceless Win
The School Board paid heed to the concerns voiced by Rickards’ families and the of the Oakland Park Community and they voted in favor of JJ-14. The price tag of the portables is only $9 million dollars, but to the families whose kids go to Rickards Middle School, the win is priceless. They will be able to attend school in the community in which they live and not have their academic lives disrupted yet again.
It was the right thing to do and Oakland Park Mayor Jane Bolin shared her gratitude with the community.
Oakland Park Mayor, Jane Bolin Shares Her Gratitude The School Board
Stay tuned to LivingInOaklandPark.com for more information about the plans for rebuilding and repairing Rickards Middle School as well as the implementation of the portables.