Wednesday, May 20, 2015

PUSD Project Manager Frazer Thompson Has Been Booted Off The Middle School Project. Will This School Ever Get Finished?

Now what?
(Mod: The Middle School that never seems to get finished has suffered yet another setback. Project Manager Frazer Thompson, the popular and familiar spokesman for this project over the last 3 years has, and for reasons yet to be revealed by the Pasadena Unified School District, been kicked off the project. So possibly have two other members of the management team. No replacements have been named, which isn't particularly good Human Resources work. Usually the big domes have people already in mind before they go canning folks. What this means at best is even more delays. And at worst? I think you can probably guess what that might be. Here is an e-mail blast that went out yesterday from one concerned resident to many Sierra Madre parents.)

Hi Parents: I hope that you will all forgive me for using this email forum to urge you to take action about the middle school. I know that you have all worked hard to ensure a bright future for your children.  I have seen most of them grow up over the years as a school volunteer and marveled at their development into great kids. I hope that our collective actions now will allow them to get the great education they deserve. I know that some of you have older children at the middle school and are acutely aware of all the problems we face there. The most obvious problem is the constant delay with construction.

We are sorry to report that the district has officially removed Frazer Thompson from his position as Project Manager at the middle school. This means the completion of the middle school will again be delayed. At the Board meeting we asked you to attend, about 20 parents showed up. This was nowhere near enough support to prompt the district to change course. Unfortunately, if we want the district to listen we need at least 200 people to do so.

Please help get the word out. If you have a child in or heading to middle school you must be a part of the action. This is a 3 year school and the majority of the original parents have moved on. We need a new group of parents to step up now. Who can take the next charge?

(Mod: The following message from Gretchen Vance was posted on the Organize Sierra Madre Schools Facebook page last month.)

Dear Sierra Madre Schools Family,
A new challenge has arisen with the completion of the middle school. Please read the letter from our Measure TT committee representative Gretchen Vance:

PUSD’s newly hired Chief of Facilities, Nelson Cayabyab, is in the process of making decisions that will directly effect the completion date of Sierra Madre Middle School. We believe that he will not be extending the contracts of both the Project Manger (Richard Kent) and Owner Representative (Frazer Thompson) assigned to SMMS, as well as firing the architect (who has done an outstanding job).

It is VITAL that ALL of these people remain in place in order to see our project through to completion. They have all been with us for the duration of the project, know the history and have effectively managed the relationships of all parties involved (contractor, inspectors, DSA, etc.). Because of them, our project remains on time with an expected classroom completion date of mid-June.

PLEASE join me in urging the PUSD School Board to investigate these rash actions by Nelson and stop this nonsense from delaying our project, once again. We need CROWDS of parents and students at the meeting because we have proven that there is power in numbers!

Date: Thursday, April 23
Time: 4:15pm
Place: PUSD District Office Board Room #236
351 S. Hudson Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91011
Let’s work together to see our project to completion ON TIME! We are almost there!
Thanks,
Gretchen Vance
Measure TT Oversight Committee Member and Co-Chair

(Mod: Crowds did not show up. And remember, it was only through turnout and protest that the PUSD finally consented to get rid of its packing crate Middle School and replace it with a real one. Oh, and here are a few more pieces of information. New Board of Ed member Patrick Cahalan posted these observations last night on the Pasadena Politics Facebook page.)


(Mod: Anybody know what the truth is here? Did Frazer Thompson resign or was he fired? And does anybody know what a "constructability review" might be? You'd think they'd know whether it was "constructable" or not by now. Should we take that to mean the PUSD doesn't know how to finish the Middle School? And we are talking about years of delays and nonsense already. A sudden and radical change in the management team at this late hour does not make very much sense.)

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

47 comments:

  1. where's Sierra Madre's School Board Representative Larry Torres? isn't he supposed to be watching out for our community? Isn't that why he craved each and every one of our votes? doesn't he love the children who will be attending this school enough to make sure this project is done on time, as promised?

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    1. We voted for Sandra Siraganian. ....everyone in Sierra Madre should have done that....you didn't. ...

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    2. She would not have had any effect.

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    3. We certainly would have known what was going on. Torres has been invisible.

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  2. Good point 4:48. Larry is supposed to have a nose for trouble.

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    1. Have we heard from Superintendent McDonald yet?

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    2. Larry Torres has not been given permission by the Teacher's Union to talk about this yet.

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    3. Where's Larry?
      http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81R7Gwd0SNL._UY550_.jpg

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    4. I wish we had Sandy

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  3. At least use a current picture of the school, still not complete but much further along than what you portray.

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    1. Yes. Otherwise people might get the impression that the school district is not getting the job done. Oh, wait ...

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    2. Photo updated, though I don't now how this new one makes things better.

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    3. It's part of the process.

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    4. A much nicer shade of plywood.

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  4. What stinks is this is likely a political agenda, not a real construction issue.

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  5. Maybe this could be the new "Belmont" school. Remember when LAUSD built it on land with a fault trending through it and natural tar oozing up from the ground? Then they turned it into housing I think. Maybe PUSD is planning to sell the land and unfinished school to a developer who will add a few more stories on top for low cost housing, and allow shops below. Then SM tax revenue would increase and we won't have to close the library!

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  6. Under Councilmember Harabedian's new R1 McMansion rule, how big of a house could you build on the Middle School site?

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  7. I haven't been by there recently. Is construction continuing or has work stopped? Can someone who lives nearby please give us an update?

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    1. I live just a block from the site, and as far as I can tell, there are still workers on site daily (during weekdays).

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    2. The photo needs to be changed, except that today's photo would look more like it nears completion. How close to being finished it really is cannot be seen from the exterior. Worker's cars are parked up and down the street and if any group, aside from the parents, would like to see it finished I am sure it is the neighbors.

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    3. I'm praying that work continues. If it stops, we'll have a big, big problem.

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    4. When will the new project manager take over? Is there someone in charge there now?

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    5. If you go to the PUSD website, there are weekly eblasts posted that details the work that has been done and is planned. The new project mgr. sent out the eblast for the 15th. His name is Kent.

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    6. According to Gretchen Vance's Facebook post Richard Kent is one of the three from the project management team that has been let go. The PUSD website might need some updating.

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  8. Since this school will be the site of the Mandarin immersion program, there's plenty of motivation to get it done.

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  9. The problem with Frazer is that he was well-liked in the community and was open, available and honest with parents. Things that do not go over very well at the PUSD.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, PUSD hates that.

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  10. We should have elected Sandy

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    Replies
    1. wouldn't change anything

      the institution is just incompetent

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  11. If the middle school parents state that they will stage a 2 day walkout on the first 2 days of school if it is not completed at the beginning of next year, then the school will be ready on time. They will absolutely get it done on time if they realize they will lose gobs of money otherwise.

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    1. They should do that now with a statement that they will walk out again when the school starts up if the building is not completed by the time school resumes.

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    2. As we learned in the past, PUSD only responds to community pressure.

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    3. Yep. Two days old ADA lost might shake them up especially if the lower school parents also stage a walkout too.

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    4. It would scare the bejeezus out of them. Old McDonald himself might show up with a paint brush and some spackle.

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  12. This is why my kids go to Private school.

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    1. I moved. Private school is expensive and doesn't always do what they claim they will do. You can shop public school districts just like you shop private schools. There are some great ones out there.

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    2. When I taught in PUSD all of the teachers that had school aged kids had them private schools. That was in the seventies. Forced bussing ruined the district. PUSD went from being one of the top districts in So Cal to the bottom of the barrel.

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  13. If parent participation in public schools was like it is in private schools we would not be having problems like this.

    And that's a FACT.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Why else would Sierra Madre's schools score so much higher than the rest of the PUSD?

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  14. Again, that's why we send our kids to Private school.





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  15. Wish we had someone on City Council who would turn the heat up on PUSD. We really need to get the school finished. How many years have the kids been in modulars?

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  16. the Mt Wilson Trail Race is coming up

    will the city be charging the event $ 18,000 for pre event planning?

    and will the event pay it without a chirp?

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    Replies
    1. My crystal ball says yes.

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  17. Private or public - who cares. The SMMS needs to get on track and be completed for the kids who go there now, have left or who go there this August.

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  18. After several years of increasingly fractured leadership from senior PUSD administrators, Frazer resigned and has taken an administrative position in the SF Bay area. Had their been a history of open and honest communication from PUSD as well as some assurance that his work on behalf of the District was appreciated, he would have stayed because he really didn't want to uproot his family. Other long term Facilities staff has either left or is planning to leave in the very near future and it is likely that things will slow down considerably while Mr. Cayabyab tries to get a handle on the work. If he follows his past history at BHUSD, PUSD will probably hire a much higher priced construction management firm (such as Bernard Bros.) . Gee.... I wonder when the witch hunt will start.....

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  19. Any follow up on Mr. Cayabyab and his impact on the construction of the Middle School?

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