I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dialogue Opens between School District and City of Pensacola Regarding Allie Yniestra Property

On April 9th, the School Board members were copied on a letter from Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward to Superintendent Malcolm Thomas. In the letter, the Mayor states his opinion that while the city of Pensacola is not in direct need of the now vacant Allie Yniestra Elementary School property, he feels that there may be some adaptive reuse opportunities for this property, including housing non-profit organizations. See the Mayor’s letter to Superintendent Thomas below.

Superintendent Thomas answered the Mayor’s letter on April 19th, and this response was also copied to members of the School Board. The letter from the district restated some ongoing issues of concern, including identifying funding sources outside of the school district for building modifications necessary to house non-profits at Yniestra, as well as for ongoing associated operating costs of such a use. See district response letter to Mayor Hayward below.

Mayor Hayward has identified John Peacock as his liaison to the district for discussions regarding potential adaptive reuse of Yniestra, and Superintendent Thomas has charged Shawn Dennis, District Assistant Superintendent for Operations, with representing the school district in these initial discussions.

Any lease agreement, contract, or other use of the property for non-education purposes would then be brought to the School Board for consideration and a vote.

I’m looking forward to hearing what sorts of ideas this ad hoc city/school district group of two comes up with for this vacant facility.

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