Update: Mann Elementary School was never demolished, and is still in operation with a healthy enrollment with strong community engagement from both staff and parents. It seems weird now to think that it was once under threat of demolition.
From Paul Hohmann,
“As most of you are aware, the Special Administrative Board of the
Saint Louis Public Schools are pushing forward a plan to close six
historic elementary schools and replace them with two newly built mega-
schools (one in North St. Louis and one in South St. Louis) for 500+
students. In South St. Louis, the construction of a new school could
come at the cost of demolition of on of the historic Ittner Schools.
Several of us are members of the Alliance to Preserve Mann Elementary
located in Tower Grove South. We have been told that one of the
funding sources that SLPS is considering for implementing their plan
is federal stimulus money. We understand that for schools there are
two categories of stimulus funds: money earmarked for new construction
and money earmarked for renovations and energy efficiency upgrades.
We are organizing an impromptu letter writing party this Thursday
April 30th, and are asking as many people as possible to come
participate. Legislators are fighting over how to spend stimulus
money as I type, so this is why we are trying to act soon. We need to
send them a clear message that we want renovation money, not new
construction money for St. Louis Public Schools. We have been told
that good old fashioned snail mail letters carry more weight with
legislators than emails. We will provide sample letters to use as
templates as well as addresses of everyone to receive letters.
Kara has graciously offered to host this at her house if we have a
small group (byob), or if we get a large crowd, which would be great,
we would go to a bar. I was thinking maybe the Grind, but we are open
to suggestions. Who would like to join us in this cause?”