The Northfield School District Board of Education approved the Master Facilities Plan Executive Summary at its meeting on November 28, 2016.
The District embarked on a long-term master facilities planning process in June 2014 and culminates with this Master Facilities Plan proposal. The Master Facilities Plan includes two components: a building life cycle plan and a deferred maintenance plan. The building life cycle plan considers the physical, environmental, and educational adequacy of our current buildings. The Master Facilities Plan Executive Summary will be updated on an annual basis and reviewed with the Board of Education. In addition, the estimated costs will be updated on an annual basis.
The Master Facilities Plan was developed between June 2014 and October 2016. Below is a timeline reviewing the process.
- Hazel Reinhardt, of Hazel Reinhardt Consulting Services, presented a detailed demographic report to the Northfield Board of Education in June 2014. The study included five- and ten-year projections for the district’s student population, as well as a housing unit projection.
- A facilities study was conducted in the summer of 2014 by ATS&R, the District’s consultants.
- A series of 18 community meetings were held in the Fall of 2014. Meetings were held for parents/community members and staff at each site. Attendees were asked to tell the District what was good about their facility, what could be better about their facility, and what one change would they make to the facility to better facilitate teaching and learning.
- ATS&R worked with District staff in the Spring/Summer of 2015 to develop two approaches to the issues identified during the 2014 community meetings.
- An additional series of seven community meetings were held in the Fall of 2015. The two approaches were presented with the estimated cost of each potential project. Participants were asked to identify what they liked, what they didn’t like, and any other questions they had about each approach.
- In March 2016, an online ThoughtExchange process was used to gather additional data on the two approaches developed by the District and ATS&R.
- In June 2016, the facilities-focused ThoughtExchange results were presented to the School Board.
- On November 14, 2016, the Master Facilities Plan Executive Summary was presented to the School Board. It was adopted on November 28, 2016.
Building Life Cycle Management Plan (physical, environmental, and educational adequacy)
District consultant ATS&R identified four potential building life cycle management pathways as a result of the planning process. Based on stakeholder feedback, this Executive Summary identifies two building life cycle management projects as the prioritized projects for the District. These projects include:
- Pathway 2 (Elementary Project): Includes modifications at Bridgewater and Sibley Elementary Schools; a new Greenvale Park Elementary School that would be constructed on the same site as the current Greenvale Park building; and minimal renovations of the current Greenvale Park building for repurposing as the District’s Early Childhood Center that would house all Pre-Kindergarten programs and day care. This pathway is referred to below as the Elementary Project.
- Modified Pathway 3 (High School Project): Includes the construction of a new Northfield High School on the same site as the current building (where the current baseball and softball fields are located) followed by demolition of the current building and repurposing of that footprint for baseball and softball fields to replace those displaced by the new building’s construction. This modified pathway is referred to below as the High School Project.
The Board could also consider Pathway 4, which includes both options included above.
Building Life Cycle Management Plan Project Estimated Cost History
The District will update the estimated cost for each prioritized project on an annual basis and present it to the Board as part of the annual capital projects budget presentation.
|Year||Elementary Project||High School Project||Totals|
|2016||$28.4 million||$76.5 million||$104.9 million|
|2017||$30.5 million||$78.5 million||$109 million|
Deferred Maintenance/10-Year Plan
The District’s deferred maintenance/10-year plan is the second portion of the Master Facilities Plan. This document replaces the deferred maintenance plan shared by ATS&R in February 2015. Since this time, the Minnesota legislature has enacted the Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue Program that requires School Boards to annually approve a 10-year plan. In an effort to be efficient, this is proposed to be the second part of the Master Facilities Plan and would be approved on an annual basis when the capital projects budget is approved.
Decision Making and Master Facilities Plan Committee
The Board would authorize projects associated with the Long Term Facilities Maintenance 10-year plan on an annual basis in conjunction with the annual capital budget presentation. At that time, the Board would also review the Building Life Cycle Management plan and determine if conditions necessitate activating a bond campaign for one or both of the identified “next projects.”
Many Master Facilities Plans have formal benchmarks that signal activating a particular project. These benchmarks are often associated with enrollment, significant deterioration of the facility’s exterior envelope, or significant deferred maintenance needs. The District will initiate a Facilities Advisory Committee comprised of Board members, parents/community members, and staff to review these benchmarks on an annual basis and provide a report to the Board on the current state of the District’s facilities each year in March along with recommendations for considering portions of the plan for the following school year.