FIRST Meeting - November 17, 2015
FIRST Co-Chair Louie Sullins kicked off tonight’s meeting by welcoming team members, giving them a hearty “Howdy.” He then reminded team members of the presentation process of the night and details for the next meeting. He then turned time over to fellow Co-Chair Shea Kirkman for added instruction.
Group 3 was then invited to the podium.
Subcommittee Presentations & Feedback Sessions
Group 3 - Evolution of Core Academics (green)
Grapevine High School Principal and GCISD Parent Dave Denning explained that Group 3 prioritized and organized items into three groups:
Improve furniture campuswide (K-12)
– Allow for campus based decisions of what is truly needed on a campus
Improvement of library to create makerspaces
– Difficult to determine equity across the district in library spaces
– Discussed meaning of a makerspace and what is needed. Determined that it doesn’t mean that a space needs to be added to a room.
– Amounts in the list were for major renovations and are not need to create makerspaces
– Group proposes equipment, furniture and minor renovations instead
– Cost for library improvements across the district is $6.1 million (includes furniture, areas that may need additional things, windows, skylights, etc.) rather than $14 million as originally presented in handouts.
Improve/create collaboration/flexible spaces
– Includes outdoor learning centers/classrooms
Group 3 focused on establishing equality across the district regarding the library program.
Group 3’s review of items ranked at the 1 priority level totaled $40+ million
Biggest cost is the improvement of furniture to meet LEAD 2021 standards
– Made budgetary adjustments to reduce $7M in furniture estimates.
– Furniture comes to about $13.5M
Evaluated meaning of a makerspace which adjusted estimate
– Makerspaces come to about $6.1M
Evaluated understanding of Outdoor Classrooms
Reviewed “other” items in the list
– Comes to about $4.4M to plan for equity
Team member Lisa Dunn wanted to clarify some cost estimates discussed.
Mr. Kirkman then invited Group 4 to the podium.
Group 4 - Evolution of Central Support Services (blue)
Michael Miori with the Grapevine Chamber and GCISD Parent explained that projects were divided into the following categories: security, technology, controlled access, and other.
Security items included adding or replacing existing security cameras, creating controlled vestibules in schools that do not have this, better outdoor lighting, emergency phone lines for emergency communication in power failure situations, and replacing older motion sensors with dual technology sensors (however this particular item was ranked a priority 2).
Technology was the biggest budget section for the group--$93M. Items include a total renovation and expansion of the existing technology center ($30M), as well as replacing 1:1 mobile devices for students and teachers at the end of their cycle ($22M).
A new technology center would provide more space for training, hardware processing and housing, and more.
In addition to creating controlled vestibules, the group also recommends a variety of additional controlled access devices, which is designed to eliminate the need for hard keys to access buildings.
Other items included in the recommendations include the expansion and reconfiguration to the transportation center parking area.
Total for 1s = $155,540,126
Total for 1s and 2s = $171,320,303
Was there someone in the group who was knowledgeable about technology?
YES - Executive Director of Technology Paul Aceves was a liaison to the group, to provide information and be a resource.
How often do you need more space for training?
Anytime the district rolls out desktops, laptops and mobile devices staff must prepare and process the computers in the warehouse, take over a campus, and more.
How often is new technology rolled out?
Each year new technology is rolled out.
How much of the district is wired vs. wireless?
The majority of the district is wireless but we do have some wired ports, which are a necessity.
Is there data that quantifies what the loads look like as more devices come online?
This is hard to quantify due to the diversity in the devices we have--wireless is a shared medium that only goes as fast as the slowest device. The district’s infrastructure is sufficient to support 1:1 initiative
May the district lease technology instead of purchasing?
No, bond funds may not be used to lease equipment. Operating funds may be used to lease equipment but due to being a Robin Hood district, GCISD cannot afford to lease equipment.
If you sell the property is it subject to recapture?
Proceeds are not subject to recapture. Proceeds roll into the general operating fund.
So, ballpark, what could the district get from selling technology?
The district uses its technology well past “useful life” and receives only “pennies on the dollar.”
Mr. Kirkman then brought up Group 2.
Group 2 - Growth & Evolution of Campus Academic / Administrative Support and Security (orange)
Lisa Dunn, CTMS principal, explained that Group 2 was about growth and change in the district.
Top priority items for this group include the replacement of Cannon Elementary, as well as an addition of multi-purpose indoor training facilities at CHHS and GHS. These facilities would include 60 yards plus one end zone and benefit athletics, fine arts and other student groups.
Additional items include:
Classroom additions to TES, GES, and GMS. Expansion of the cafeteria at HMS. Addition of student and teacher bathrooms at BCES and CTMS.
Addition of outdoor storage facilities at CTMS and HMS.
Provide furnishings for piano labs at GHS and CHHS to support AP Fine Arts curriculum.
Addition of four buses (equipped with cargo storage) and GPS for existing transportation fleet. Cargo storage busses would help our student programs with overnight trips.
Addition to the Administration Building to eliminate an old frame house and portable buildings used for offices.
Expansion of BCES parking.
Furniture and equipment for the ECDC.
Removal of the stage at PDEC for an additional training space.
The development of an Early Childhood Center was also discussed and ranked a priority 2. The group feels this is something to look at in a future bond and would prefer to look at other options now to provide an expanded pre-k program.
Total for Group 2: $169,028,040 or $127.8M (without a new Pre-K/Early Childhood Center)
Do other districts also have the 60 yard plus end-zone version of the multi-purpose facilities?
Ms. Dunn explained that they worked with Group 6 which toured LD Bell’s facility, which is the 60 yard plus end-zone version. (LD Bell and Trinity facilities are the same). Group 6 also explained that those schools use the facilities for much more than athletics. For example, the band uses it three times more than athletics. The groups evaluated the benefit of one joint facility or two facilities (one for each campus), and felt that potential scheduling difficulties and proximity to campuses warrant the need for two facilities.
Do we have existing space at both campuses to put the multipurpose facilities? If yes, are we losing space for other projects/programs?
Yes, there is space at each campus that is relatively unused. The new facilities will make better use of the unused areas.
Group 1 - Aging of Facilities & Equipment (red)
Lisa Klaus from Heritage Middle School explained that their group evaluated everything to meet the standards for the GCISD Portrait of a Graduate.
CHHS Principal Conrad Streeter then explained how the team consulted with district facilities staff to understand the buildings and cut the initial projects by $100M.
Mr. Streeter further explained that the group followed four themes:
1. Promoting Safe and secure schools for all students
2. Creating facilities with improved access for all (ADA compliant)
3. Landscaping improvements and taking care of significant drainage concerns at GHS
4. Enhancing schools with necessary equipment/systems that promotes learning
5. Repairs/upgrades to facilities that will provide for our students and create equitable environments in schools
6. Replacing buses and facilities vehicles
Major project categories included: Security upgrades ($22,212,552), HVAC improvements, Addressing ADA / Facility / Drainage / and Landscaping deficiencies, Stadium and Swim Center improvements, and purchase vehicles to replace older busses and trucks.
The recommendation for stadium improvements does not include everything in the list. The group significantly scaled back the project and allocated $10M. This hopefully provides a new video scoreboard and some improvements to the stadium overall to increase the life of the stadium another 5 - 7 seven years. They propose that a future bond address the major deficiencies and needs of the stadium.
Group 1 looked for projects that lead to cost savings on the Maintenance & Operation side by upgrading facilities and systems with efficient equipment and upgrades. They feel district facilities need to meet the needs of our community so families don’t want to go elsewhere.
Did you talk about turf?
We did talk about it but it’s not in our list of projects.
Will you explain why you did not want to replace the swim center?
Our group did not have this item. Our projects were focused on improving facilities not building new facilities. Group 2 had the new Swim Center project. (The estimated cost to building a 50-meter pool and swim center is $55M.)
I would think the swim center should be replaced before adding multipurpose facilities.
Group 2 responded. They felt the number of students benefitting from multipurpose facilities would be significantly greater than those benefitting from a new swim facility, therefore providing more overall service to district students. The Group acknowledged that the district’s 25-meter pool was small compared to area districts, but felt it was more important to support renovations and upgrades to the existing swim center. A member of Group 1 spoke up and shared that a team member had met with the manager of the Swim Center to ask what was needed to better gauge conditions and what is truly needed to improve the swim center. Their recommendations follow the manager’s recommendations. Group 1 is recommending $2 M in renovations and upgrades based on that conversation.
Mr. Kirkman then invited Group 6 to present.
Group 6 - Evolution of Athletics (yellow)
Community Member Roger Lee shared his experience of touring the LD Bell multipurpose facility, describing how immensely functional it is and the benefit it can provide to all students.
Group 6’s total Budget is at $48,192,921. This includes changing baseball and softball fields at both GHS and CHHS from grass to turf, seven storage facilities at elementary campuses, and wrestling rooms for each middle school changed to an activity room so it serves as a multipurpose room. Recommendations include replacing several scoreboards due to age and condition, upgrading athletic dressing rooms at HMS, enlarging the dance dressing area at GHS, replacing tennis courts lighting at both high schools and replacing lights at the GHS baseball and softball fields.
This group also supports the addition of two multipurpose indoor training facilities. They also recommend and support renovations to the stadium but would recommend building a new press box.
Mr. Kirkman then turned the time over to Group 5.
Group 5 - Evolution of Specialty Instruction (purple)
Carrie Stewart explained their key objectives were to equalize and maximize resources across the district, replace antiquated and/or obsolete equipment, and to provide more functional space now and for the future. Many projects improve fine arts and student activity programs, such as converting a print lab into a Broadcast Studio, refurbishing the stage floor at GHS, adding exterior panels at the Animal Science Center, and more. They would love to add performance arts space to district; however, can’t add due to the impact this would have on the district’s M&O annual cost.
Recommendations include equipment for theatre, music programs, art classes and shop classes.
Regarding the recommendation to reconfigure spaces, group members learned that not all band members could be in their current space at one time. They used a football analogy of practicing with only individual groups and then hoping it all comes together on game day.
They recommend purchasing trucks instead of renting them. They determined this to be a better use of cost and will give band members the opportunity to uniquely outfit the inside of the trucks to meet their needs.
Costs of projects ranked number 1 $10,826,584.
Mr. Sullins then explained that our current running total is at $512 for all groups. He further reminded the team about the district’s debt capacity (tax rate cap), explaining that $200M to $225M is the highest amount the district would want to take to voters for a new bond program.
Mr. Kirkman continued to remind team members that between now and Dec. 8 there is great deal of work to be done in order to trim the current total amount. He also emphasized the need to get the number under $2225M.
According to Mr. Kirkman: “We need to keep our facilities strong to keep families wanting to come here. We are laying the foundation for our kids and future families in the district.”
Members noted they had heard potential duplicate projects or projects, that if selected, would eliminate the need for other projects being considered.
District staff will look at that and work with Huckabee to clarify scope and direction.
A performing arts center couldn’t be built because there isn’t M&O to operate it. So, what about a Multipurpose facility?
Chief Operations Officer Paula Barbaroux explained that a multipurpose facility would include very little mechanical (HVAC). It would be only in dressing rooms and a meeting room and not in the largest section of the facility, which would have enormous fans and rollup doors. This facility would cost significantly less to operate than a Performing Arts Center. Utility costs would hopefully be absorbed through efficiencies created by building a new school, such as the Cannon project.
If you build a new Cannon, where would you build it?
The plan is to build it on the same site in a phased approach, maintaining the 2008 addition.
Regarding the Multipurpose facilities, can advertisers be used to help offset the costs?
Yes it is possible. The district would look into the existing advertising contract with the Education Foundation and the suggestion would involve discussion with them.
By building the Multipurpose Facilities would the high schools recapture any space and if so, shouldn’t we include renovation of those areas for other purposes?
District staff will look at this to determine if any spaces in the schools would be vacated by a new facility.
Ms. Barbaroux then discussed the plan for the Dec. 8 meeting. She confirmed that team members are confident that they can begin voting and prioritizing on Dec. 8.