Folks, this is going to be one heck of a challenge. Once I get this charter monkey off my back, this is where I'm going to focus next because there are so many moving parts. I despair a little at how it may all come out but I can only urge you to KEEP UP and let the Board know what you think.
There were at least five handouts for this work session. They were:
- Macro planning schedule for BEX IV
- Long-range Enrollment Projections for 2012-13 through 2021-22
- What are "Ed Specs"
- What is BEX IV?
- Overview of Facilities Master Plan 2012
- Large form Master Schedule for BEX IV Planning
- Exhibit 8-1 - Scoring Summary*
The Macro Planning Schedule is a nice piece of work with a month-line of 2012 and little action bubbles above different months.
Right now FACMAC and the BEX Oversight Committee, along with staff, are looking at everything and trying to get a grip on what we need and where.
In February (hey, that's the middle of next week), there will be a Prioritization List #1, reviewed by the Board, staff, FACMAC and BEX Oversight committee. I will emphasis here that I truly do believe this will definitely be a first stab and may not resemble what comes to pass at the end of the process.
In March, there will be a second Prioritization list (#2). Then, in April, comes the first public community input, this time for Prioritization list #3. In May, there will be a fourth list and then a fifth list in June. FACMAC will then take a well-deserved break from their work in the summer.
They expect yet another list in August. Then in September, a second public community input opportunity and then final recommendations and the Board creates the final project list.
In October, the Board will adopt the list and approve the ballot resolution (including what the figure will be, between $490M to a staggering $800M). Keep in mind, the voters will be receiving TWO levies requests in Feb. 2013 - one for BEX and the other for the Operations levy. Between the two of them, it will be well north of $1 BILLION. That's a huge and scary amount to be asking for from voters.
Also, here are the official district counts of schools:
- 57 elementaries,
- 10 K-8
- 9 middle schools
- 12 high schools
To compound the problem, many schools are showing signs of aging and deterioration despite an aggressive District maintenance program in recent years.
Vague, myopic and not really true. "Signs of aging and deterioration" doesn't cover how bad off many buildings are especially the ones that are 50-60+ years old. And the "aggressive maintenance program"? When was this? I think they mean they just got around to restarting what should have been happening for decades.
Make no mistake - we have this many aging and deteriorating buildings because our district made a choice to put off maintenance and care for these buildings. I know some of you might be shaking your head and thinking, "okay but in this place now; what use is it placing blame?" I continue to make this point because the district wants vast amounts of money for our facilities and yet, somehow, a lot of that money never makes it to the buildings.
*I put a start on this vague-sounding chart because it is a KEY chart to see. It has the facility rating for all our schools (from a study by Meng). They still have the seismic to do and that could change things. Sadly, they did not include a key-to-terms box so I'm not sure what some of the markings mean. I will ask staff. )
As I have previously mentioned, the district is done with high schools (for now) with the two exceptions of SBOC and Nova. SBOC is getting a small amount $10M and it's not coming from BEX IV. I recently toured the Meany building where SBOC and Nova are housed; what a sad building. It's score is a dismal 3.63. Very little natural light, small cafeteria and no decent common areas. Frankly, it should be a rebuild but that won't happen. Nova is likely to move to Mann (but Mann is not listed but I recall it had a bad score from previous surveys and was still using a 100 year-old boiler.)
All of the "extra" buildings - Boren, John Marshall and Lincoln - are on the edge of needing help. It really depends on what the outcomes for those buildings are. I think, in the end, Boren and Lincoln, are going to stay our workhorse interim buildings. (I know APP Lowell is staying at Lincoln another year but it will eventually move out.) The only one I perceive will get work out of BEX IV is John Marshall which I predict will reopen as something.
So who are, on paper, the worst buildings?
Number one is Arbor Heights with an overall score of 3.92 (1-5 with 1 the best and 5 the worst).
Let's go by region and see how they stack out, keeping in mind the score AND capacity needs:
Aki Kurose region
Wing Luke with 3.65 and a good-sized area
Graham Hill with 3.39 and a good-sized area
Kimball with 3.36 with a medium area
Montlake (a perennial favorite) with 3.38
I want to note here that I have been told by staff that there has to be a certain acreage size for each type of school, blah, blah. I always thought Montlake couldn't be rebuilt much bigger because of its lot size (1.7 acres). But then I looked down and saw that Emerson, in a newish building that holds 428 students only has 1.8 acres. Now I know that geography has a lot to do with it but I'm maintaining a healthy skepticism over what can and cannot be done.)
Arbor Heights, 3.92, medium area
Roxhill, 3.86, small area
Alki, 3.55, small area
Lafayette 3.54, big area
Schmitz Park, 3.45, big area
Thorton Creek, 3.54, big area
View Ridge, 3.44, big area
Laurelhurst, 3.70, small area
Bagley, 3.53, medium area
There were no schools that were high enough in the McClure area.
The worst middle school score was Washington with a 3.43, followed by Whitman with a 3.11.
Pinehurst K-8 is the worst of the K-8s with 3.35. Salmon Bay K-8 is also low with a 3.25 but a small (for a middle school) lot.
Okay, so where do we need more space?
West Seattle, I would bet that Arbor Heights, Lafayette and Schmitz Park could make the list. They need the capacity AND these are buildings in poor condition.
NE, I would bet Thorton Creek, View Ridge and Laurelhurst all have a good chance of making the list as again, needed capacity and poor quality buildings. I doubt that the district would invest the money in Pinehurst K-8 with such low enrollment.
NW, Bagley looks good. Poor condition building, big lot, popular program.
Central, Washington probably, Montlake maybe.
SE, Wing Luke and Kimball are in poor condition but I am unsure if that area needs more elementary space.
That leaves a few other issues.
- would they invest money in building a new middle school at Wilson-Pacific? Centrally located, has a nice playfield, poor condition building. However, you have to consider where you would move the programs there (or build to co-locate). Or would they invest the money in a new building for either Eckstein or Whitman?
- understand that NO building will remain the same size in population. The district cannot rebuild just for poor building quality. So, elementaries would be in the 425 size (at the smallest) and the middle schools at 1000 and the K-8s probably 700.
- it is likely that they will go to a three-plan blueprint for the elementaries. There is not the time nor the money to be creating all new buildings for each one selected. But I think each building team would probably be able to pick which blueprint as well as colors used and maybe some finishes.
- The district has been spending huge amounts of money on building. Now, at one point, there was a huge amount of building going on AND inflation but that's not the case now. So the middle schools have got to come in under $79M and the elementaries under $45M. I do not understand why, when I check other districts in our region, they seem to build very nice looking buildings for $30-40M.
- Also, in answer to the question, yes the Advanced Learning Taskforce is trying to keep pace with FACMAC so that those recommendations can dovetail in with FACMC work. There are several FACMAC members on the AL Taskforce so everyone is keeping in the loop as far as information.
- Director Carr rightly pointed out that the public has to stay in the loop and there needs to be a "narrative" - a story that explains where we are, what we need and how we plan to get there. She also made the point that "if we don't tell the story and are silent, others will tell the story."
- Director Smith-Blum asked about the Advanced Learning Taskforce and the overlay for program placement?* Dr. Enfield said they would have an update in late spring for the overlay for program placement and that yes, they need to decide about APP K-5 at Lincoln.
- Director DeBell asked about a bond versus a levy. (Again, with a levy you get the money in pieces but there is no interest. With a bond, you get the money all at once but there is interest. ) Bob Boesche said we could do a combo of both (and they have done this in the past). He said they are studying this issue.
- Director Smith-Blum also asked for an assurance for SBOC at Meany and was told they would be getting their work (and that they already started).
- Staff did say they need to take into account any building that is a city landmark (or might be up for designation). From my cursory look at the City's historic landmark site, I only see Eckstein as a school with that issue.