What Will BUSD's Taj Mahal Look Like?

The administration has been very secretive about their new office building. Nothing surprising here, it falls right in line with the lack of transparency they exhibited with the superintendent’s contract extension.

Early in the design and development process of the Measure Z projects, we learned the district invited community sports experts to sit on the stadium design committee, theater experts on the theater committee and educators on the classroom committee. There was very little, if any, outside experts called in to consult on the Taj Mahal.

Now the administration is organizing committees to review the current projects with the intention of scaling back some of the features. Again, not surprisingly, there has been no committee established yet to review the Taj Mahal. This administration has shown no interest in true transparency or self sacrifice especially where the administrators contracts are concerned.

I have heard many rumors floating around regarding their new offices that many would have dismissed as unbelievable not too long ago. The recent behavior of this administration leads many of us to ask; what is really unbelievable?

Here are some of the rumors I’ve heard:
  • Private bathrooms
  • Oak Paneling throughout
  • Granite or Corian counter tops in the bathroom and kitchen
  • 52” flat screen monitors in multiple conference rooms
  • External doors for administrator offices (I understand why they would want these)
  • Exercise room with showers
  • Marble entry way
  • Koi pond (this one I don’t even believe)
  • Indoor vertical wall fountains
  • Wireless Internet smartboards (I’m sure they'll find a few left over from the schools)
  • Fine Art Murals
  • Stainless steel kitchen appliances
  • Video studio
These are only rumors, the administration hasn't been very transparent so we don't know what is real. It would be nice to see the details. Since we don't have Mr Greenwood around any more to read construction plans, plans that could be read by the general public would be useful. 

There is no question our community needs the classroom extension and there is no question they want the crown jewel stadium but how much more are any of us willing to sacrifice of our children’s education to provide a new luxurious office building for our superintendent and his assistants? Keep in mind they all recently received contract extensions that had no personal sacrifices. Most of these adminsitrators don't live in our area and Beaumont is just a stepping stone to more lucrative positions somewhere else.

While they are here, we need to hold them accountable for their out of control spending of our tax dollars. They will argue that the Taj Mahal is not funded by Measure Z funds. This is true but public school administrators always seem to forget that every dollar they spend comes from the taxpayers.

Some believe the Taj Mahal could be scaled back to $8 million; the administration says they can’t do it for less than $10 million. I want to know what would be the cost to upgrade the Chavez or Wellwood site. Mrs. Kakish told the board recently that Chavez was large enough. The money saved could be used to cover some of the cost overruns on the Measure Z projects?

We need complete transparency and public representation on the Taj Mahal committee. We need to demand transparency before the approval for the Taj Mahal is buried in another agenda item. We need to know the details of the design now.