The historic Booker T. Washington school is being remodeled, and some of the parents are not happy about the temporary digs the district has lined up for the displaced Booker T. students. They say Nolan Estes Plaza in Oak Cliff has mold problems and isn’t safe. To show their displeasure, some parents and kids are organizing a march downtown today at 4:10. I know this because a woman named Barbara Norris who works in creative services for Neiman Marcus sent an e-mail yesterday evening to just about every media outlet in town. I know she works for Neiman’s because she sent the e-mail from her Neiman’s address. I assume she’s a Booker T. parent.
But here’s the thing: I’ve talked to the architect who is largely responsible for the Booker T. remodel. Vel Hawes (who happens to be my neighbor) was also Ray Nasher’s site manager for the construction of the Sculpture Center. He knows his stuff, is what I’m saying. And Vel tells me that the Nolan Estes solution is near-perfect. It’s free to the district. It’s safe because it sits near a police substation. And that mold the parents are complaining about is not mold. Finally, Vel tells me that he has led groups of students through the Nolan Estes site. The kids who’ve seen it all love it.
(For the media that are going to cover the march, send me a note if you want the phone number for Nash Flores, the head of the 42-member board that is overseeing the renovation of Booker T.)