There was one other piece of business that clearly got strong reaction on the board. Superintendent Bayless’s assistant, Roberta Carlson, is retiring. Everyone made it clear that she was going to be missed. I’ve always found her to be helpful, efficicient and responsive, and it’s clear she’ll be missed by everyone in the district.
Superintendent Bayless opened with a presentation of how he would trim the building costs from $32 million to $26 million to fit with the district’s budget and deliver a finished school "about September, 2009". The school will be rebuilt in three phases, with the new building going up first, the main building being renovated next, and the administration building renovated and the wings near it being taken down last.
The discussion was relatively restrained compared to the prior meeting, with newly re-elected Mayor Jim Grady renewing the city’s offer to expedite the building of the school. Several pro-Wavecrest citizens asked the board to get on with it and vote to build the school at Cunha.
In discussion, board member Jolanda Schreurs said it was time to "Make lemonade from the lemon that is Cunha." adding that perhaps we could make it raspberry lemonade and that our kids deserve some sugar in their lemonade. Board President Dwight Wilson urged, "We’ve got to figure out how not to make enemies of our neighbors with this decision", a clear response to the lingering unhappiness of Wavecrest supporters.
After a long discussion about adding some "Whereas" clauses to the resolution, the board finally added a clause saying that it may ask the Superintendent to buy adjacent properties to the Cunha site.
Then came the main event. The vote was quick and unanimous. There was some applause at the anticlimactic decision, and the board moved on to the rest of its agenda. Most of the audience had already left the room.