Residents and former residents of the Scarboro neighborhood are divided over whether to build the Oak Ridge Preschool at Scarboro Park. While some support the project, others are skeptical of the city’s motives and have signed a petition opposing the site. One resident asked for more time for discussion, at least a few more meetings, during a special meeting on Monday.
But the City Council voted 5-1 to select Scarboro Park as the site for the new Oak Ridge Preschool. That vote had been postponed during a regular City Council meeting two weeks ago in order to allow city and school officials to meet with Scarboro residents this past Thursday.
Council members and other officials have portrayed the preschool project as an opportunity, a $10 million investment in the community. City officials have said the site is centrally located, the land is flat and city-owned, and its crime statistics are a bit better than those at the first preferred site, Elm Grove Park.
They have pointed out that Scarboro Park is only a half-mile from the nearest fire station, and most of the park—about 85 percent of it—would still be a park. They said the park is large enough that the 40,000-square-foot preschool could be expanded and could include 20 classrooms. The park could still include the recreational amenities—basketball courts, tennis courts, and a youth-size baseball field—although they might be moved within the park, officials said. [Read more…]