Reimagine, Re-envision, and Reinvest
...Creating a Facility Master Plan
Our District is committed to delivering on a promise of Excellence for All! To help us achieve this goal, we are beginning a journey to Reimagine, Re-envision, and Reinvest in our students and school facilities. This effort is driven by a number of important factors and we believe that we have a responsibility to our students, staff members, and community to investigate all options as we consider the factors impacting this conversation. These include:
- ever-increasing pressure on funding streams to support facility needs and improvements,
- potential replacement of schools,
- the possibility of needing new school facilities,
- necessary changes within the learning environment, and
- the location of District families within the community.
We remain grateful that District patrons voted in 2014 to increase the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) to the maximum allowed by law. This fund generates approximately $9 million dollars each school year. Unfortunately, we have identified annual needs of approximately $20 million dollars. This includes such maintenance essentials as resurfacing of roofs, replacing hallway tile, and updating restrooms to meet ADA compliance. With each year, we actually fall further behind on meeting the general maintenance needs at our schools.
There are also needs related to a common set of requirements that was established for each of our schools through a collaborative stakeholder process that was concluded in April 2013. These are related to front entry security, modernized heating and cooling systems, common student meeting spaces, and more. Additionally, we are working to forecast future facility needs where it is projected there will be future increases in student enrollment. The Secure an Advanced Vision for Education or SAVE Fund currently has 61 million dollars in unobligated reserves available for use in remodeling existing school buildings or constructing new ones. Even so, this is significantly less than the 200 million dollars in identified needs.
In order to address all of these critical issues and factors, we are forming a Master Facilities Committee, including parents, students, employees, business and industry leaders, and other community members, to engage in large group conversation, as well as sub-committee discussions around:
- Finance subcommittee members will engage in conversations around District finances including the use of the General Fund, Physical Plant & Equipment Levy Fund (PPEL) and Secure and Advance Vision for Education Fund (SAVE), for use in financing improvements to our existing schools and possible future schools.
- The District Program Offerings subcommittee will engage in conversations on such topics as innovative learning, 21st Century Learning, students with special needs, English language learners, and other program offerings that influence existing and future facilities design.
- Conversations of the Grade Configuration subcommittee will focus on how our student grade levels are configured and the alignment of District boundaries at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.
- The New Schools / School Renovations subcommittee will engage in discussions about what key elements or “triggers” should be considered when determining where to locate a new school or when and how to renovate an existing school.
- The focus of the Closing and Repurposing of Schools subcommittee will be on identifying the key elements or “triggers” that should be considered when determining whether to close or repurpose an existing school.
A Committee of approximately one hundred volunteers will meet approximately a dozen times over the next 14 months. Subcommittee work will be supported by subject matter experts within each topic area. There will also be opportunities during the process for other stakeholders to provide additional feedback on the work. A District Facilities Plan will ultimately be submitted to the Board of Education for consideration on September 25, 2017, with the consideration for final Board adoption planned for October 23, 2017.
We invite you to review the information that will be posted to this webpage throughout the process. This begins with the initial August 22, 2016 presentation to the Board of Education. The Board approved the plan to move forward at its September 12, 2016 meeting. If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns we would like to hear from you.
September 12, 2016 - RSP vote, Board of Education Meeting
Aug. 22, 2016 - RSP PowerPoint: "Planning for the Future"
Aug. 22, 2016 RSP Presentation, Board of Education Meeting