Thanks to a resolution by board member Jim Sampson, three of the next four regularly scheduled Buffalo school board meetings will not be held in City Hall. The next one, coming up Wednesday, will be held at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. See the announcement below for where and when all regular board meetings will be held between now and the end of December.
I will be very interested to see how the district chooses to set up the board seating once the meetings are moved out of Room 801 of City Hall. Because of the cramped room setting in City Hall, all board members sit around a long board table and face each other instead of the public. That makes it hard for the public to see and hear who is speaking during the meeting. It also appears disrespectful to public speakers when board members are seated with their backs to them, which is why board members sitting on one side of the table end up doing a lot of chair swiveling during the presentation and public comment period.
What's interesting is that on the rare occasion when the board moves out of City Hall and into a school auditorium setting where they have a lot more room to spread out, they still elect to group tables and chairs together to mimic the exact same seating arrangement they had in City Hall. By contrast, most other school boards arrange their seats in either a straight line facing out toward the audience, or in a curved or U-shape, so that all board faces and name plates can still be clearly seen by those in attendance.
I'm tempted to start a betting pool on which way the table set up will be on Wednesday, but I won't. Here's the announcement of all board meeting locations through the end of 2013: