Master Facilities Plan
Current updates appear below
- Do our schools offer "safe, warm and dry" learning environments?
- How can our buildings better support 21st century learning as we implement the new 2020 Vision Strategic Plan?
- Will we have enough space to meet the needs of current students and our projected future enrollment?
These are only a few of the wide-ranging questions being considered as District 64 plans for its present and future facility needs.
As authorized by the Board of Education on February 23, 2015, District 64 has teamed with FGM Architects and construction manager Nicholas & Associates to complete two important studies:
- an Illinois School Code requirement, called the 10-year Health Life Safety study;
- and a new Master Facilities Plan to identify and address specific needs at our nine buildings.
Together, the HLS / MFP report is a comprehensive look at code requirements, the physical condition of the buildings, and educational needs for 21st century learning.
Why Create a Master Facilities Plan? Every school district has limited resources and no school district can do all the work that needs or would ideally be done. That's why it's essential for District 64 to understand our facility needs and prioritize expenditures to maintain safe buildings, to support 21st century learning in our schools, and to protect our community’s investment in its facilities. The replacement cost of all the District's facilities is $277 million.
Facility Plan Activities - Spring 2015
Investigating, engaging with the community, researching, and exploring options -- these were the major activities this spring as District 64's design team completed the HLS/MFP. As described in more detail in the steps below, all eight school buildings (our early learning center at Jefferson School, five elementary schools, and two middle schools) were thoroughly examined to document where we are now and how our facilities can better support the District's educational goals in the years ahead.
FGM also conducted a series of meetings at each school to gather information from the principal and staff, review findings and possible improvements, and review recommendations. In addition, parent and student sessions were held.
At each step, key findings and updates were shared with the Board of Education during community presentations (PDFs are available below and videos also are available):
- February 23, 2015 - Authorization to begin the plan and review of Master Facility Plan benefits
- March 23, 2015 - Building Assessments
- April 27, 2015 - Educational Planning
- May 18, 2015 - Preliminary Findings
- June 22, 2015 - Findings and Preliminary Budgets
Facility Plan Activities: 2015-16 School Year
New information about projects is added as it becomes available.
Based on the Board's direction from the June 2015 meeting, over the summer and into early fall 2015, District 64 has worked to prioritize the projects beginning with a two-year plan for repairs and improvements to be undertaken during the summers of 2016 and 2017. The recommendations focus on the "envelope" of the schools to keep students and staff "safe, warm and dry."
- Preliminary design work A specific proposal for 2016 and 2017 was presented at a special Board meeting on Monday, October 5, 2015. Based on this discussion, the Board authorized preliminary design work on the proposed 2016 summer projects under consideration. The proposal and video are available here.
- Secure vestibules and roofing/mechanical The Board conducted an in-depth discussion at the October 26, 2015 regular meeting of the recommendation for 2016 to add secured vestibules to the schools; the meeting included presentations by Park Ridge Police and the District's security consultant. Further information also was presented about the roofing and mechanical recommendations presented as "safe, warm and dry" projects for summer 2016 and 2017. The reports and video are available here.
- Financing, facility recommendations Further discussion focusing on financing options as well as a detailed review of facilities recommendations for 2016 was conducted at a special meeting on November 5. Public comments also were received. Reports are available here. Schematic drawings were presented and reviewed. Several are available here: a proposed model for secured vestibules and a drawing of proposed small additions for the District's oldest buildings (Field, Lincoln and Roosevelt).
- Preparation of construction documents The Board engaged in further discussion and heard extensive public comments on the 2016 summer projects at the November 16, 2015 regular meeting. Reports for that meeting and Dr. Heinz's presentation are available on the video page for that date. The Board authorized taking the next step to prepare construction documents to obtain bids for the summer 2016 work, including secured vestibules and critical HLS/MFP infrastructure projects.
- Update on progress At the January 26, 2016 meeting, the Board received an update on the progress of proposed summer 2016 facilities projects, which will be placed for bidding shortly as authorized at the November 16 meeting. The proposed projects include secured vestibules and critical HLS/MFP infrastructure work as part of a multi-year investment to provide "safe, warm and dry" learning environments for students and staff.
- Comprehensive Safety & Security Plan District 64 presented an update on a Comprehensive Safety and Security plan at the February 8, 2016 meeting. (Dr. Heinz's presentation is available here.) Administration reported on its work to expand its crisis plans into a comprehensive safety and security plan, working in partnership with a team from the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA). Building from a foundation of the physical safety improvements implemented as a result of the 2013 RETA Security review, the District is now working with NIPSTA to strengthen its policies and procedures, improve training for crisis response teams at the District and school levels, and expand annual training for all staff. This comprehensive plan will coordinate with the recommended addition of the secured vestibules at all schools under consideration for summer 2016.
- Timeline Also on February 8, 2016, the timeline for Board discussion and action on proposed summer 2016 facilities projects and financing was reviewed. Currently out to bid, the projects include secured vestibules and critical Health Life Safety/Master Facilities Plan infrastructure work as part of a recommended multi-year investment to provide "safe, warm and dry" learning environments for students and staff. The proposed timeline includes a review of final funding scenarios for summer 2016 work at the February 22, 2016 meeting (see financing below). At the March 3, 2016 meeting, construction bids will be presented and the District will ask for approval of the contracts. Finally at the March 21, 2016 meeting, it is expected that District 64 will present funding documents for Board approval based on the financing option selected by the Board.
- 21st Century Learning Spaces At the February 22, 2016 meeting, the Board learned about a unique opportunity presented by the recommended secured vestibules work for summer 2016 to simultaneously launch the District's efforts to create 21st century learning spaces. As part of the office reconfiguration required for the secured entries, several of the school site plans require that classroom spaces and offices be interchanged. The District's architects updated the Board on the new, 21st century learning spaces that would be created in a total of four elementary classrooms at Field, Roosevelt (two), and Washington schools. This work would only be undertaken in combination with the secured vestibule reconfiguration. In addition, the Board learned about energy-saving measures that also would be implemented with the secured vestibule projects.
- Roofing projects summer 2016 The Board received construction bids at the March 3, 2016 meeting for all summer 2016 facilities projects. The Board approved contracts for about $2.2 million in roofing work to be completed at seven buildings in summer 2016. Carpenter, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington and the District 64 Educational Service Center will be re-roofed; patching will be completed at Franklin and Jefferson. Roofs at Field and Emerson are not in need of immediate repair, allowing the schools to host the Worlds of Wonder summer school program. Based on an analysis prepared by the District's construction managers, the Board rejected bids to replace windows at Lincoln Middle School. The bids were judged not a good value at this time, as window manufacturers are backlogged and demand for summer projects drives prices up making the bid environment less competitive. District 64 is working with its construction managers and architects to determine how soon the project can be rebid; window replacement at Lincoln could begin in the fall. In addition, the Board thoroughly discussed the bids received for other summer 2016 work at all buildings, including creating secured vestibules and completing critical infrastructure projects identified through the 10-year Health Life Safety survey and new Master Facilities Plan.
- Secure vestibule for Washington, re-bid critical infrastructure for summer 2016 At the March 21, 2016 meeting, the Board continued its discussion and took action on the remaining construction bids presented on March 3. Base bids were organized by school, which gave the Board flexibility in its decision-making to consider undertaking work at one or more buildings. This approach also allowed the Board to select the combination of low bidders for each base bid to yield the lowest possible project cost and best value. The Board selected Washington School to receive a new secured vestibule/office renovation as well as critical infrastructure work to be completed in summer 2016 at a total project cost of $1.2 million. The work will include creating a 21st century learning environment in a classroom relocated as part of the required reconfiguration for the secured entry. The Board rejected bids for secured vestibules and critical infrastructure work recommended for summer 2016 at the other schools and District 64 office. However, the critical infrastructure portion totaling almost $1.2 million is being re-bid for consideration separately later this spring.
- Critical infrastructure work approved for summer 2016 At the April 25, 2016 Board meeting, the Board approved critical infrastructure projects of just over $970,000 as the third component of Health Life Safety/Master Facilities Plan work for summer 2016. Projects will be undertaken at all District buildings, except Field and Emerson that are hosting the Worlds of Wonder summer program.
- Additional contractor approved for Washington project - At the May 9, 2016 meeting, the Board awarded a contract for asbestos abatement related to the secure vestibule/office reconfiguration work in summer 2016 at Washington.
- Lincoln Middle School to receive new windows - Windows and window shades throughout Lincoln will be replaced beginning in late fall 2016 as one of the high priority projects identified in the new 10-year Health Life Safety survey. The Board at the June 27, 2016 meeting approved $1.4 million for a package of work, which also includes replacing the Roosevelt School gymnasium windows. The District saved more than $414,000 on the Lincoln portion alone by rejecting initial bids earlier this spring and re-bidding with a later start date to avoid paying a premium.
The Board has been considering options for how the HLS/MFP work can be financed:
- A presentation from William Blair & Company was made at the Board's September 21, 2015 Committee-of-the-Whole meeting (also available on video). The discussion of bonding and related projects is available separately.
- A further financing report was included in the October 26, 2015 report (see Appendix 2), but discussion was deferred until the November 5 meeting.
- An updated financing report including impact on a typical taxpayer was discussed at the November 5, 2015 special Board meeting. (Please see Appendix 3.)
- The Board of Education at the January 9, 2016 special meeting approved an application to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to be granted the option to issue Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB), which would save taxpayers $19 million in interest on $34 million of bonds over 20 years. If selected in this competition, District 64's Board would have 18 months to consider whether to issue the bonds, but has no obligation to do so. ISBE is expected to announce selected districts in February. More information is available on the January 9 report.
- It was announced at the February 8, 2016 Board meeting that District 64 was not among the 29 districts selected by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to issue low/no interest Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCB's); District 64 was ranked 118 out of the 173 districts when ISBE applied its priority analyses to districts it deemed "shovel ready."
- The Board's financing discussion on February 22, 2016 brought together and reviewed all the remaining funding methods available to the District, which have been explored over many months. A presentation from William Blair & Company laid out options for the Board's consideration. (The presentation is contained within this meeting report.) Several funding scenarios for summer 2016 work estimated at about $13 million were reviewed. The facility projects include secured vestibules at all schools and critical Health Life Safety/Master Facilities Plan infrastructure work. This is part of a recommended multi-year investment to provide "safe, warm and dry" learning environments for students and staff. For 2016, administration is proposing using $8 million in Working Cash and issuing $5 million in bonds. Further Investments of $10 million for summer 2017 projects and $13.4 million for summer 2018 projects also were discussed.
- Fund balance may be used for summer 2016 facilities projects - At the May 23, 2016 meeting, the Board discussed a proposal to abate $5.5 million from the Working Cash Fund to the Capital Project Fund to finance facility projects across the District this summer, including roofing and critical infrastructure work at a variety of schools along with a secured vestibule/office reconfiguration at Washington.
- Funding for facilities projects approved - The Board approved the abatement of $5.5 million from Working Cash to the Capital Projects fund before the end of the current fiscal year on June 30, 2016. The money will be used for the already approved summer 2016 projects -- such as roofing and critical infrastructure repair -- now underway as part of the District's Health Life Safety/Master Facilities Plan work.
Steps to Develop the Plan (Spring 2015)
As the District worked with its design team to complete the HLS survey and develop the Master Facilities Plan, here are the five steps that occurred in spring 2015:
- Data Gathering
The first step in data gathering was the Health Life Safety Survey. FGM completed a fire separation and exiting analysis of the buildings, visited the buildings to verify conditions, and identified health life safety code deficiencies. During the Health Life Safety Survey process, FGM collected existing documentation for each building, including: current and projected enrollment; current curriculum and space use; academic and activity schedules; special education and other student support programs; technology; security; and community use. FGM met with each principal and school community to further understand the use of space, operational patterns of the facilities, and challenges using the current facilities.
- Goals & Direction
A project design team of administrators, FGM and the District's construction manager reviewed current educational facilities trends, technological trends, and an understanding of how educational facility design can support pedagogy. This wide-ranging discussion also considered changes currently being implemented or foreseen in space use and operational practices.
The project design team worked together to define and understand current and projected curricular directions, capacity needs, and other program, activity or operational needs. FGM then used the program information to evaluate where each of the current facilities is relative to the program information to identify where there are space deficiencies, inefficiencies, or other anomalies that should be considered in the concept phase.
- Project Concepts
Based on the HLS, individual school meetings, site observations and direction from the project design team, FGM developed projects and concepts for addressing building and District-wide needs.
Building on these discussions, recommendations were developed for a range of HLS/MFP projects. The initial presentation of the overall concept was presented to the Board of Education on June 22. In-depth consideration of specific projects will begin in fall 2015.