Newsletter: May 27, 2022

Update: June 23 Public Meeting on Old School Square Future

At its May Workshop, Delray Commissioners directed City Manager, Terrance Moore, to schedule a planning session for public input on the long-term future of Old School Square (OSS). The meeting or Charette (collaborative planning session) is slated to take place on Thursday, June 23 at 6pm at the OSS Fieldhouse at 51 North Swinton and is to be confirmed in the next few weeks.

Over 50 constituents were in the audience for the workshop, including former Mayors Tom Lynch and Jay Alperin.  Mayor Petrolia did not attend in person.

"Typically, we don't have public input (at Workshops) but if there's consensus to open up for public comment that's fine," said City Attorney Lynn Gelin during a discussion to combine the two agenda items on Old School Square.  The two agenda items, the activation of the Cornell Museum and the longer-term future of the OSS campus, were to have been discussed separately. Four Commissioners agreed to hear public comments prior to their discussion.  

"I really appreciate the positive comments and phone calls that I've received, and the messages," said Commission Ryan Boylston after public comments closed.  "I was really trying to explain (at the April Commission meeting) to everyone why I couldn't be in favor of leasing out the Cornell to another seems like it (Delray Summer of the Arts) does have some traction."

"I'd like to see it active now," stated Commissioner Casale.  "We've been waiting for an idea to come, tossing around ideas, rejecting great ideas...let's get moving, we're not doing anything but talking about it."

"I'm merely saying, here we sit having the same conversation.  I wanted the Boca Museum and I'm saying that to everybody," Casale added after Commissioner Shirley Johnson commented that the Commission didn't give one of speakers enough time to talk about what they could offer.

"We all have the same objective, which is to activate the campus" Commissioner Frankel said during the discussion regarding a short-term solution to re-open the Cornell Museum.  "It's nice to see so many representatives throughout the City joining us because Old School Square is so important to us, our residents and our visitors...we used to have Charettes and we used to have them all the time."

Commissioner Boylston agreed with Frankel, "While I appreciate Ms Casale's urgency, we haven't been talking and talking and talking.  In fact, this is the first workshop, right here in a year talking about Old School Square...can you imagine if we had this conversation back in the fall when the decision was made?"

The Commissioners invited CRA Director Renee Jadusingh and Arts Warehouse Manager Grace Gdaneic to discuss assuming oversight of a short-term activation of The Cornell Museum, which would entail coordinating exhibition schedules with Delray's cultural and arts non-profits and other art groups.

Moore stated that the "facility (Cornell) is ready to go" and asked for a Commission consensus on moving forward with developing a short-term plan for art exhibitions over the summer.  He will meet with Gdaneic, Jadusingh and other City staff on May 31 to "consider some of the logistics" and provide an update at the City's full Commission meeting on June 14th.

To watch the Workshop video, please go to:  

Best Regards,

The Friends Of Delray Board

Judy Mollica - President

Steve English - Treasurer

Gregg Weiss - Secretary

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