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I was alarmed to read (PWN, Jan. 17, 2002, BOE Discusses Safety Plan for Construction) that Turner Construction wanted to use most of the field in front of Weber Middle School as a staging area for construction. It may be necessary to use a small segment of that field as a staging area for construction, but it is totally unacceptable to use that field to park 30 construction workers' cars. As suggested by Peter Wezenaar, the contractors can use the Monfort parking lot (behind the post office) for their parking spaces.

Contractors in Manhattan regularly build skyscrapers using little more than a few parking spaces along the city streets as a staging area. There is nothing unusual about asking workers to walk a block to a job site. I'm sure that our relatively small school construction project can go forward without using more than a small portion of the field for staging.

The school uses the field for recess and play. Recess is not a luxury, but rather a basic component of good health and managing children to get them to reach their maximum potential. If the safety of the children using the field is a concern, construct two parallel fences, a few feet apart, to create a safety/buffer zone between the construction site and the playground.

In requesting a large portion of the field, Turner seems to be dismissing the needs of the school. Nothing will endanger our children more than having a construction manager who can't comprehend those needs. Nothing will drive up construction costs more than having a construction manager who caves in to frivolous requests (e.g. on-site parking) from sub-contractors. Perhaps the BOE should dismiss Turner now, before construction proceeds any further.


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