The futures of The Pyramid and the soon to be merged city and county schools systems have again crossed paths.
When The Pyramid was just an idea in the late 1980s, it was common for civic leaders to talk about the “power of The Pyramid.” Yes, this was among the phrases that passed for legitimate political discourse at the time as long as it was coupled with another phrase – “world class” — to describe the next bricks and mortar structure that was going to do for Memphis what Memphians themselves couldn’t do for the city.
It turns out there may be something to the “power of The Pyramid” after all. There is certainly an alignment of timelines.
Bass Pro Shops has set a new target date for the reopening of The Pyramid for August 2013. As that was happening, U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays ruled in the schools consolidation case and set the start of the schools merger for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year which will also be August of 2013.
As Bass Pro Shops set the new reopening date for The Pyramid, the city of Memphis announced as part of the deal that construction work for the adapative reuse of The Pyramid would begin Oct. 1.
As all of the attorneys for all of the players in the schools consolidation lawsuit were in mediation just a few feet away from City Hall at the federal building, the settlement they came up with included a new 23-member school board – all nine Memphis City Schools board members, all seven Shelby County Schools board members and seven new board members to be appointed by the Shelby County Commission. And what date did the parties in the lawsuit set as the start date for the new countywide school board – Oct. 1.
So far, no one has used the phrase “world class” to describe the merged school system to come in two years. But with a 23-member school board, some on the board could have a real problem being heard — yet another Pyramid parallel.