Asking the Park District board for Dodds Park

A group of folks, including at least one board member and a board member candidate, will attend the next Park District board meeting and inquire (again) about the possibility of securing a small portion of Dodds Park for the new Central High School. The News-Gazette has run several articles (1, 2, 3, and there are more, including letters-to-the-editor) mentioning that the school district would much prefer Dodds Park if it becomes available, and there are several folks in the community who also favor this site. If you are one of them, I encourage you to make your voice known at this meeting.


The meeting is Wednesday, Jan 14th, 7:00 pm at the Bresnan Meeting Center, 706 Kenwood Road (near Centennial).


Of course, I realize that there are those that think Dodds Park is a horrible location. Nothing stops you from attending the same meeting. 🙂

10 Responses to “Asking the Park District board for Dodds Park”

  1. charlesdschultz Says:

    oops, I forgot to include the date on the original:

    The meeting is Wednesday, Jan 14th, 7:00 pm at the Bresnan Meeting Center, 706 Kenwood Road (near Centennial).

  2. Kathy R. Says:

    Do you suppose they will present a petition? 😉

  3. pattsi Says:

    How unimaginative when there is the intersection of Neil and Bradley and Bristol Park area and in addition Bradley and 4th. I sat and listened to people, including board members, state that they know of no other alternatives and none have been mentioned. This just is not factual. I have been arguing for the first two I mentioned or 2.5 years, at the beginning of this whole faux process. Unless a space is wide open, unencumbered and a child could design what is put on the site, a site was not considered. What a shame to have laid a governor over all of the very creative individuals in this community who are filled with out of the box ideas–both adults and the children attending Unit 4. Where is the community charrette that ought to have been held. The ideas that could have spun out of such an experience would have dazzled the voters. But no we are now back to wanting to gobble up green space, highly used, from the community. And green space that has exactly the same type of transportation issues. F. L. Olmstead and Jens Jensen just rolled over in their graves at the thought of losing more green space.

    • John Bambenek Says:

      I think you miss a key word, Pattsi… “viable” alternatives. One, I can’t imagine that building over the 4 corners of Neil and Bradley would be cheaper and, quite frankly, I struggle to see how such a design could meet the requirements of the school code. It require closing BOTH Neil and Bradley to complete the pedways which would require a cooperative City Council which we haven’t had in 40 years.

      In fact, the new Board members will likely take great notice that the history of intergovernmental cooperation with the schools and Park District, City Council, and other bodies is a history of those bodies pillaging educational dollars with no return for it. I’d like it to be different, of course, but there comes a certain point where I’m not going to let Unit 4 continue to be abused by parasitic government bodies who’s motive is the lustful leeching of educational dollars into their own coffers.

      That said, give me a price tag in some level of vettable detail.

  4. craigwalker48 Says:

    Pattsi, Bristol Park is a major urban redevelopment affordable housing project in the North End community. You are insulting the whole African American community when you advocate throwing those plans away for a high school… Please stop.

    Dodds Park is a site where a strong majority of citizens would support, it is perfectly situated for collaborations with Parkland, and what is digusting is that some old rich dude, backed by Joe Petry refuse to put in on the table. Yeah just hold our community hostage on propert bought by tax dollars because some country club dude wants his name on a park.
    Sounds like we are focusing on the wrong election… Time to get with the Park Board candidates and see where there are yes votes and get behind them.

  5. pattsi Says:

    Craig, thanks for your comment giving me this opportunity to underline what urban planners learned from the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. (By the way, I did go down there two years after the disaster to learn about the process and just how it was working so here are the lessons.) First and foremost, the major disasters that hit the 5th and 9th wards by destroying almost all of the housing stock took my breath away. But more importantly, was the fact that the displaced people were not coming back even when some housing was being built though 85% still had not been replaced. Those who were still in those wards were families/individuals who never left. The others had lost the bonding to the area, relatives had moved on, and others had just moved on with their lives and did not want to go through resettling once again.
    This is not unlike the Bristol Park area in that the whole are will be leveled. People will be displaced for 2-3 years. They will move on with their lives. Will not necessarily want to go through another resettling. I am not in favor of the chosen methodology of renovating Bristol Place by leveling it–strongly based on my experiences in New Orleans. I am totally in favor of renovating Bristol Park, but done incrementally, whiceimmediatel would take more time, but would not displace the total population, keep some of the character, etc.
    All of this stated since the city has chosen a method of total displacement that will produce a very small percentage of those who had been displaced to return, why not then do some rethinking related how to facilitate an educational opportunity for that area of the community by putting the HS there. The increase and density of housing i tommediate east along Bradley is an important aspect. There is open land throughout that area that can be used as infill housing sites for those presently housed in the Bristol area. This sites a HS south of a major physical barrier that all urban planners know puts the lid on connectivity to any community. Putting the HS right in the north area creates connectivity and walkability along with opening up opportunities to go back to “lighted school house” concept and a great deal of economic development along Neil between downtown and I-74, which is 3 decades over due. All of these are beneficial for everyone.
    Bottomline is that I am very concerned about the long term displacement of the present Bristol PArk residents and what that means in the long term. You simply misunderstand and do not give me the due diligence as an urban planner to be able to understand not only from my own research, but also what I experienced in New Orleans.
    I also look at the corner of McKinley and Bradley, in my district, that has been leveled for years. Those individuals have been displaced much too long. I campaign with those constituents.

    • craigwalker48 Says:

      I appreciate your research and opinion on Bristol. But when you examine the plan it represents a huge increase in affordable housing for seniors and low income residents. It is approved by the City Council and is moving forward with support from a strong majority of the African American community. It is not appropriate for you to offer it up as a high school location with the strong community support the Bristol Park Plan has from the AA community. Thank you.

  6. pattsi Says:

    Craig, I understand your view. Thanks for this exchange.

  7. Kathy R. Says:

    Very informative, Pattsi and Craig. Thanks for taking the time to write.

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