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CYO Urges School Board to Stand Firm on Edna Maguire Project

In a letter to the editor, the board of the Mount Carmel CYO reiterates its support for the Edna Maguire reconstruction, which is the subject of ongoing litigation from neighboring residents.

The Mount Carmel CYO Basketball Board of Directors, representing more than 80 volunteer coaches and more than 450 youth players from Mill Valley, voiced our support in May 2010 for the school district’s effort to build a new multi-purpose facility as part of the Edna Maguire re-construction project.

Today we wish to loudly reiterate our fervent support of the renovation plan and assure the Mill Valley school board that there is widespread support for its effort. The Mill Valley youth sports community is in dire need of a new facility – more so now than when we first wrote to the school board 18 months ago. It is disappointing to us that a very small group of on this important community project.

More children than ever are trying to sign up for our basketball program, an increase that parallels the district’s own enrollment figures. Unfortunately, we have been forced to deny many players a chance to play because of the lack of practice facilities available in the community.

There are many Mill Valley-based youth sports groups who need gym space for their practice activities, including CYO basketball, CYO volleyball and indoor soccer, among others. Unfortunately, there is such a severe shortage of gym space that those groups are forced to rent gym space in neighboring towns such as Marin City, Sausalito, Corte Madera and San Rafael. The result: our children and families often commute out of town on school nights and weekends to practice with their teams.

We were pleased with the openness and cooperation shown by Mill Valley School District officials and its contractors during two years of public comment. We voiced our support for a middle-school size gym at the time, and we were relieved and excited that the school board included this feature in the Edna project. We should not waiver.

The Edna campus has sufficient space for a multi-purpose room and gym. There is no other acceptable location for this important use in Mill Valley. We need this facility for team practices, not CYO games or tournaments. Our teams have about 10 players each, so the traffic impact of our use would be light or minimal. On top of that, we encourage carpooling among parents.

The construction of a multi-purpose facility and gym as part of the Edna Maguire project will provide critical benefits to our community in a number of ways:

  • It is the right size for Edna Maguire, which district projections say could serve a student population of 600-plus in the near future.
  • It would help alleviate Mill Valley’s severe lack of indoor play areas and it would support events, sports and other key community activities. It’s critical that the community provide adequate space for physical fitness activities.
  • It would benefit the non-profit youth organizations and their participating families to have a safe, modern practice facility within the Mill Valley city limits.
  • It’s good for the kids, who won’t have to be driven to practice in an adjoining town, for instance, at 7 p.m. on a school night.
  • It would reinforce the commitment to a “green” environment, saving hundreds of hours driving up and down Highway 101 to access gyms. The area neighborhood would benefit with a new gym facility within walking and biking distance.

We sincerely request that the school board continue taking a leadership role on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace an aging school with a modern campus and construct a suitable multi-purpose room for the children in Mill Valley.


Sincerely,
Mount Carmel CYO Board of Directors

Tom Keane
Athletic Director and Edna Maguire/MVMS Parent

Ken Austin
Old Mill/MVMS Parent

Kerry Huffman
Tam High Parent and former MVMS/Park School Parent

Mike King
Tam Valley Parent

Owen Prell
Tam Valley Parent

Ken Praszker
MVMS Parent

Blake Sgamba
Edna Maguire Parent

Ryan Ferguson
Edna Maguire/MVMS Parent

TJ Civik
MVMS Parent

Sean Ali
Tam Valley Parent

Michael Thomas
MVMS/Strawberry Parent

Sean Norton
Edna Maguire/MVMS Parent

Todd Gates November 15, 2011 at 04:51 AM
As a neighboring resident and a parent of former CYO, MVMS, and Edna Maguire students, we support the statements made by Mount Carmel Board Basketball CYO Board of Directors and look forward to the MPR facility being used by many other Mill Valley youth groups as well. I hope the Mill Valley School District leadership should be able to adeptly facilitate matters in a fair and expeditious manner and continue moving forward with the redevelopment of the Edna Maguire School. Todd Gates
MarinT November 15, 2011 at 05:32 AM
It seems this CYO letter was a product of misinformation. Neighbors are concerned about safe routes for kids, bikes and cars to and past the school; Concerned about late-evening or uninterrupted use of the Multipurpose Room / Gym by non-school - non CYO related users; Concerned about reasonable parking for the fairly expansive use of this MPR and reasonable lighting that fits with the need for security but doesn't change the character of the neighborhood; Concerned for the safely of everyone during the construction phase. What is concerning is that the CYO thought their use was problematic to these neighbors or anyone else. This misunderstanding underscores that CYO leaders are not getting actionable information from the other parties of influence. It would be a courtesy that the new MVSD Administration under Dr. Johnson release the actual matters at issue to the CYO so mistaken letters and inflated concerns about fellow community members become a thing of the past here in Mill Valley.
Magoo November 15, 2011 at 05:16 PM
Do these outside organizations who use /will use the facility pay for using it?

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