DISD Is Pulling Its Zoning Request For Joe May, But Flores Still Hopes School Opens In 2013
Flores insists it will: "Oh, heck, yeah," he said when asked if it's still in the plans. "We have 1,000 kids in portables, and that's just not right."
Joe May's capacity would be 810 students, all of whom would come from David G. Burnet, Tom Field and Julian T. Saldivar in Adam Medrano's neighboring district. Says Flores, all three elementary schools are "at 135-percent-plus capacity," a stark contrast from the 11 campuses the district's considering consolidating and closing. If May gets built, it would jam-pack a lot of elementary schools into that part of Northwest Dallas, where Cigarroa, a 2002 bond package school built at the corner of Walnut Hill and Webb Chapel, is also full.
Says Flores, he hasn't spoken with residents around the proposed campus who've been meeting with council member Ann Margolin; he says he's yet to be invited to neighborhood town halls. "It's hard for me to know what we can do if they never reach out," he says. "We've been excluded from the process." He also says officials with the city and the district have been meeting to find a resolution, and that he still hopes to get Joe May open in time for the 2013-14 school year.
"But the frustration here is: If I came to the city of Dallas as a developer and said, 'I have $45 million and construction plans that are ready to go right now, and just think of all the jobs we'll create and all the materials we'll buy,' what city would not bend over backward to get $45 million in business? And the mayor's been supportive. Staff has talked to him, and he's trying to find a way to get this resolved. He's been great, and hopefully cooler heads will prevail."
I asked if he believe 2013 is still a realistic opening date. His response: "One can only hope and pray that folks get together and get their heads around this."