Our long range facilities planning committee is comprised of 58 community members, parents, and school district employees. 51 of them are voting members and seven of them are non-voting members.
The committee’s purpose and charge has been to:
• Consider the educational needs of all students and align with the district’s mission, vision and goals
• Represent the entire community
• Assess and prioritize the district’s current and long-term facility needs
• Bring forward recommendations to the Board of Trustees as to how to proceed with a long-range plan
The committee met six times between September and January. They also took tours of our current facilities. The committee reviewed district facility needs and worked in small and large group sessions to prioritize and develop a long range plan.
The topics reviewed and discussed by the committee include:
• School Finance 101 & SISD Financial Overview
• District-wide Facility Tours
• Enrollment Projections & Campus Utilization
• Departmental Presentations
• SISD Financial Capacity & Tax Impact
• Overview of Needs and Concerns
•How to Build a Total Project Cost
•Potential Project Possibilities & Cost Analysis
•Community Survey Results
On their meeting on January 22, the committee reached consensus on the following long range plan:
• Additional classroom capacity to accommodate enrollment growth and address current safety/security issues
• Upgrade athletics and extracurricular facilities
• Performing arts center
• Career and technology education and student programs expansion, including agricultural science/FFA
Given that the district’s financial capacity will not allow for all of those projects at this time, the committee has recommended Phase 1 of the long range plan be addressed through a May 2018 bond election for the following projects:
1. Connect the K/1st grade building and gymnasium to the main building at Thomas Arnold Elementary School. This would create a more secured campus in one cohesive building for our youngest students and eliminating multiple access points. Project Budget = $800,000
2. Build a new 6th – 8th grade Middle School at the new site, located just south of the high school. This would eliminate the need for portable buildings for grades prekindergarten through 8th grade and improve traffic and parking on Thomas Arnold Road. Project Budget = $41,200,000
3. Build new concessions, new restrooms, 1000 additional seats, and turf field at the existing football/soccer stadium. This would address aging conditions, improve site conditions, and increase capacity for seating, support facilities, and utilities. Project Budget = $3,700,000
4. Build new baseball, softball, field events and practice fields at the new site. These additional facilities would increase safety by reducing the need for high school and junior high school students to travel back and forth from Thomas Arnold Road for practices. Project Budget = $6,000,000
The school board will have until Friday, February 16, to consider these recommendations from the long range facilities planning committee and decide whether or not they are going to call for a May 2018 bond election.
More information is available at the long range facilities committee website: www.sisdfacilitiescommittee.org
Thank you to all 58 of the committee members for all of their time and effort in this process.