Paul Holland and HDA Architects Sleaze into a Design-Build Contract with GPS

If you thought it was odd that Gilbert Public Schools superintendent Christina Kishimoto put a local architect as a *community member* on the Gilbert Classical Academy Takeover Committee, you’re in good company. We’ve scratched our heads about what nefarious plan was underway since we saw the name of Paul Holland on that GCA committee. Paul Holland is an architect with HDA Architects:

Paul’s specialty is the development and implementation of “prototype” educational facilities. These prototypes utilize a standard floor plan and incorporate customized features for each particular district’s needs.  Paul has completed numerous prototype schools for districts such as Gilbert Public Schools…

Now we learn that there’s an architectural rendering of a planned auditorium for the campus of Gilbert Junior High School. Maybe all that talk about how GCA lusted for Mesquite Junior High School was a feint to throw off the public. Otherwise, Paul Holland and his company, HDA Architects, would not get a contract for a new auditorium at Gilbert Junior High School, because Mesquite Junior High School already has an auditorium. After all, in the past twenty years, HDA Architects has $53,186,508 of experience in Middle and Junior High School Additions and Renovations, out of $1.5 billion worth of educational construction completed and/or in the design or construction phases. More: 85% of the company’s work is in the educational sector. Sleazy, isn’t it? Actually, it’s much worse than that. But we digress.

The light bulb comes on: Was Paul Holland on the GCA committee just as a member of the community? Answer: This is GPS. Do you doubt for a minute that this was another setup? But if we give Paul Holland the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he was there to get a head start on the design/build contract that Christina Kishimoto always intended to offer to HDA Architects. Paul Holland was just as *genuine* as the superintendent’s *alleged* boyfriend was; we have learned that Charles Stevin Smith, former Executive Director of Technology, was the mastermind for the whole kit and kaboodle. Sleazy Steve Smith even pretended to be *just a GCA parent* when he told the Governing Board to get on with the voting.

Citizens asked for public records indicating what GPS plans to do to accommodate the ever-increasing *needs* that GCA loudmouths are screaming they must have for their snowflakes. Thus far, the reaction from GPS has been something along the lines of “there are no auditorium plans” and “repurposing GJHS would not build a new auditorium.” Sure… that’s exactly why Christina Kishimoto created a *Superintendent’s Committee* to do all the planning for GCA. That keeps everything *off the books* until GPS is ready to start building. We predict that date to be on or about May 1, 2016, after the GPS Governing Board votes on April 26, 2016.  We’re sure there will be a slight delay *to be kind.*

Apparently, Christina Kishimoto never expected ANY information to come to light about this nefarious closing of a neighborhood school for the benefit of GCA. Nope, Christina Kishimoto expected it to be a done deal at the February 23, 2016 board meeting. By then, her plans were so completely off track, students had already registered for next year at the junior high schools being considered for closing, and there was an Arizona statute looming over the shambles of Christina Kishimoto’s great plans for GCA. She had successfully conned Her Three Votes into doing everything else she wanted, so why would Christina Kishimoto doubt for a minute that the GPS Governing Board would just roll over and do her bidding once again? Thank goodness Charlie Santa Cruz saw the light and refused to play the *Suspend the Regulation* game.

Nonetheless, real actual people have seen the plans. The drawing below shows where the auditorium will be located, according to those plans. All that blather about GCA needing more athletic fields was just a ruse, since the new auditorium will take up the space now occupied by one of those fields:


Never mind that the GCA Permanent Facilities Report dated December 1, 2015 shows a lot of blueprints depicting changes that will be made to Gilbert Junior High School. Never mind that GPS demolished the community swimming pool on the Gilbert Junior High School campus last year, GCA will need more parking spaces. Never mind that GPS says there are no plans to build an auditorium for GCA: “No, no, there’s nothing to see here, move along.” From community members:

So when I asked the board specifically not about “capacity” numbers but actual numbers of empty classrooms the information always was there in the GCA report. Even so, GPS said they did not know. Since when is it okay to lie to the public?

Plans show that GCA will have 2 teacher work rooms, teacher lounge, 4 computer classrooms, exercise room, 2 health rooms, choir room, orchestra room, band room, career center room, large elective room, gym, stage and all fields needed. It must be okay for the rest of the GPS kids to be in classrooms with 35+ other kids and/or in portables on the fields.

I call the GCA folks greedy! What person in their right mind says…”I urge the board to look past the number of families impacted” ? GCA wants what they want and they want it NOW!

I have been at this since 2012, along with a lot of the people in my neighborhood. The only people that are probably more tired of all of this than I am are the staff at Gilbert Junior High School. Imagine what going to work every day must be like for them.

Secrecy. Refusing to listen to the community. Balls to the Wall and Damn the Torpedos, Full Speed Ahead to give GCA a new home by closing a neighborhood junior high school in an area projected for growth by the district’s own consultants. It’s part of the dangers of inflexibility and self-importance. *I’m a Lighthouse* illustrates Christina Kishimoto’s arrogance:

This is the transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.*

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a Collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that’s one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.
Canadians: I’m a lighthouse. Your call.


*Big Fat Asterisk: In the spirit of being *Authentic and Informative,* we have to confess that the transcript is a joke. A famous joke. The *faux* transcript supposedly was released by the Navy Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Boorda. We served with Admiral Boorda. He could always take a joke, or make one. The photo at the top of this post is real: the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy in January 2012.

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