For several months, architect Roger Smith of BBS, hired by the Springs UFSD Board of Education last year, has had his team of professionals conduct a comprehensive facility condition review and space analysis.
School districts are required by the State Education Department (SED) to perform a five-year building conditions survey in order to assess the capital needs that must be planned for in future budgets or addressed with separate bond financing.
Mr. Smith has made public presentations on the conclusions of this review, which focus on both the infrastructure of the building (building systems like windows, heating and ventilation, and electrical) and the utility and efficiency of the instructional space, given the recognized growth in student enrollment over the past decade and changes in instruction.
“Building systems have a useful life. You can put off these kinds of projects, but only for so long before they begin to have a real effect on building integrity and the quality of the instructional environment,” he said. “And on the instructional side, it is pretty easy to see the relative inadequacies of space that have been driven by enrollment growth and the way in which instruction has changed.”
BBS has presented plans to the Board and community that call for infrastructure upgrade and instructional space improvement. Now comes the challenge of assessing these recommendations and deciding what to do next, and when.
The Board of Education believes the involvement of the community is critical to determining next steps. As a result, the Board has decided to form a Community Facilities Committee to meet with Mr. Smith and his team to review their proposed facility improvements, and report back to the Board on their recommendations, questions, and suggestions for any further analysis.
“As a Board of Education, we have a responsibility to surface important issues like facility improvement, but in the end, this is really about the community’s aspirations,” said Board of Education President Liz Mendleman. “In other words, nothing is going to happen unless the Springs community is actively involved in reviewing these plans, suggesting changes, or otherwise making their feelings known about how we should move forward.”
The Committee is expected to meet during the months of April and May. It will include some representatives from the district (teachers, support staff members, a Board member, an administrator), along with community residents at large. The Board of Education is hoping to limit the committee to no more than 12 participants.
If you are interested in participating on the committee, please fill out the attached form here. If the district receives more applicants than needed, the Board will select participants based upon relevant experience with education, finance, engineering/architecture and/or facility management.