Assuming the June 13, 2010 deadline can't be extended, the race is on now to find an alternate site that can win the support of four city councilors and the Planning Commission.
The former Roberts property is obviously one alternative, though I'm not sure there are four votes possible for it.
But there are several other empty tracts on Chippens Hill that could be tapped instead that at least have the advantage of not being across the street from an existing middle school. It's certainly possible one of them might suffice.
One thing's for sure -- the school officials who are scurrying to find alternatives will be making certain that City Planner Alan Weiner and City Engineer Paul Strawderman are an integral part of the fast-paced search that has to be done.
School Superintendent Philip Streifer said he'll ask the West Bristol School Building Committee to get moving fast on this.
The funny thing is that the council once told the committee to forget Scalia, but its members refused to budge, and managed to secure a fourth council vote instead when Craig Minor changed his mind and voted for it.
What nobody realized is that they needed five votes, not four, and they didn't have 'em.
Coming up with four or five votes on this badly divided council for any site is going to require more councilors to follow Minor's lead and compromise. There's not a lot of evidence to support the notion that they will.
And if you accept the argument of preservationists such as Cheryl Barb, maybe that's just as well.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at email@example.com