The Board of Education and the Facilities Planning Committee held their third joint meeting of the year on Monday, June 12 with the focus on trying to narrow down the more than 70 blue sky ideas the FPC developed earlier using the guiding principles that were established earlier this spring.
"Whenever we mix the Board with another group, there is always tendency to hear the Board more,'' Board president Bob Green said. "Our plan is to use our ears and not our mouths tonight. We are here more to listen than to talk.''
Visit the Facilities Planning webpage to learn more about the options and the work the FPC has done to date.
Eppstein Uhen Architect's Kit Dailey explained the purpose of the meeting was to have participants think about the 70-plus blue sky ideas that were generated earlier and filter them using the guiding principles.
"It is critical we do this,'' she said. "We can't review that many and stay on the timeline.''
She briefly reviewed the upcoming schedule, noting the FPC would not meet in July and the FPC and Board would hold a joint meeting on sustainability Aug. 28. The next FPC-only meeting is set for Sept. 26. EUA and J.H. Findorff & Son will use the summer to go over the ideas that remain after the meeting and determine what those options mean, with every future meeting focusing on further narrowing the options.
FPC co-chair Bob Hesselbein reminded the FPC that the guiding principles should play a key role in any decisions made at the meeting. Business Services Director Lori Ames briefly reviewed the facilities condition report that was shared months ago along with the tours the FPC has taken. Assistant Superintendent Sherri Cyra reviewed enrollment projections that were provided by MD Roffers Consulting.
EUA's Andy Lyons briefly covered the capacity and utilization report that was provided in May. EUA's Jackie Gilles reviewed which school sites can be expanded. Cyra reminded those in attendance about how instructional programming and vision impact facilities, while EUA's Chris Michaud covered 21st century learning spaces. Ames also reviewed the preliminary borrowing information.
Lyons reminded the participants that while the goal was to winnow down ideas it was possible some new ideas may come out of the meeting. Hesselbein also noted the boundaries aren't a part of the FPC's mission. "Our mission to make sure there is equity in space and opportunity for every student,'' he said.
The FPC, Board and administration then spent approximately 40 minutes holding a conversation using the Socratic Circle, where one group speaks and the other listens. Dailey noted no decisions will be made during the discussion. Members inside the circle would talk about a topic, while those outside would listen. She encouraged participants to be respectful and not dominate the conversation.
The FPC spoke first on the first topic, which was about grade configuration and if it should change. The Board and administration spoke first on the second topic, which was on building a second high school.
Dailey then led a large group review and discussion of all of the blue sky options the FPC had developed for the District's enrollment challenges. She also reminded the FPC that data should drive any decisions and that the current data only goes out until 2030.
"You can't walk out of here with 40 ideas or you won't get to referendum in November 2018,'' she said.
After a number of ideas were removed by the FPC, the members then voted whether a second high school and tearing down West Middleton should still be considered. The FPC voted against pursuing either option.
EUA's Andy Lyons said he would take the 10-12 remaining ideas and lump them into categories. They will be shared with the FPC and Board later in the week.