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PK-12 Public Educational Facilities Master Plan Evaluation Guide
Use this guide to learn school facilities master plan standards and rate your school district on their use of the guide's standards in planning.

For Generations To Come: A Leadership Guide to Renewing Public School Buildings
This guide provides a framework for community involvement in the complex process of modernizing or building new public school buildings.


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School Renovation Becomes a Teachable Moment
-- Jacob Bell, Education Week

Massachusetts: May 28, 2015 -- Rather than allow a large-scale construction project to derail student learning, administrators and teachers at a private school in Manchester, Mass., incorporated the building process into the curricula—a partnership that also led the renovations to finish two months early. Adding construction themes to the lesson plans of the Brookwood School, a pre-K through 8th grade institution, was part of a collaboration between the school and the project's Beverly, Mass.-based overseer, Windover Construction, according to Nancy Evans, head of Brookwood's lower school. "[The construction] team came into rooms all the time throughout the school year to talk about what they were doing, to demonstrate, to say 'come out and take a look,'" Ms. Evans said. "We got to see beams put into place, we got to see the scaffolding of the old building coming down." The project was part of a plan meant to improve Brookwood facilities that no longer supported the school's increasing student population and project-based learning programs. Construction included the building of a new atrium, dining facilities, and a wing of classrooms, as well as the demolition and reconstruction of some classrooms. The construction began in the summer of 2013, with expectations that remodeling would proceed into this school year. Due to the partnership, however, Windover was able to work during the school day instead of exclusively at night or over summer vacation—times that are usually more feasible for school construction projects. Though students' access to the construction site was strictly observational, Windover provided tours, cut portholes in walls, and left fences uncovered to accommodate student learning.


Redwood City officials consider how to spend $200M necessary to upgrade existing facilities
-- Austin Walsh, The Daily Journal

California: May 27, 2015 -- As officials in the Redwood City Elementary School District prioritize how to spend money from a proposed, upcoming bond measure required to fix aging classrooms and campuses, initial indications are there are more needs than the bond could finance. The district Board of Trustees is slated to approve a facilities master plan during its meeting Wednesday, May 27, which lays out the various issues to be addressed by the $193 million bond measure officials are considering putting on the fall ballot. But there are roughly $390 million worth of fixes and updates necessary to the district’s campuses, which could indicate officials may consider laying the groundwork for a second bond measure in coming years. John Gill Elementary as well as Garfield and Taft community schools are among the top priorities to receive a majority of the funds from the bond measure, as all require about $20 million or more in improvements, which would consume about $66 million of the $141 million that would likely to be available for projects, should the bond pass, according to a district report. But all district schools will benefit from improvements identified in the plan, Superintendent Jan Christensen wrote in an email. “Most of our schools are 50 years old, and three are more than 80 years old. The schools need updates to current health, safety, fire and earthquake standards. The only way for the district to pay for the improvements detailed in the facilities master plan is by issuing a bond,” she said. “No other source of funding exists at this time; the state is not providing adequate funds for upgrading and repairing our schools.” Most of the bond money should be used to modernize and reconfigure classrooms and offices with structural upgrades, and improvements to windows, doors, floors, ceilings and paint, according the priorities identified in the report.


New ideas proposed for Port's Brown school
-- Liz Carey, NewburyPort News

Massachusetts: May 26, 2015 -- NEWBURYPORT — Last week the Brown School educational reuse task force presented a report of its recommendations for short- and long-term educational uses for the former school building on Milk Street, and suggesting that the building not be decommissioned. The group, chaired by School Committee member Bruce Menin, has met several times to discuss possible educational uses for the school. The recommendations included moving in a program for post-graduate special needs students through 22 years of age, which is currently housed at the high school with limited space. Task force member Valerie Natoli Paquette noted there were six other districts expressing interest in a regionalized post-graduate program. In addition, the task force suggested relocating district offices to the building to free up classroom space at the Nock/Molin School, as well as storage room for all the schools. Menin also suggested that the library could be used for conference room space. Long-term potential uses may include expansion of the adult education, after-school, summer, remedial and enrichment programs, as well as the high school’s partnerships with higher education. In addition, Menin noted that with a possible surge in the number of students due to the 40R development in the city, the Brown School would provide an option for alternative space for reconfiguring the school system. “We feel like we’ve scratched the surface here and that there’s another group to follow that should really be working with the city and looking at some of these options,” Menin said. Massachusetts law allows for partial use of the building for educational purposes for up to 10 years, Menin said, and using the rest of the school to generate funds to maintain the building, such as renting the top floor as artists’ lofts.


Cedar Rapids schools: proactive maintenance needed for aging buildings
-- Brady Smith, KCRG.com

Iowa: May 26, 2015 -- CEDAR RAPIDS — With the average age of its school buildings around 60 years old, the Cedar Rapids Community School District’s grounds and buildings manager said the key to keeping maintenance costs low at older buildings like Arthur and Garfield elementaries — both of which celebrated centennial anniversaries this year — is to stay proactive when it comes to maintenance. “That really determines what needs to be done to these old pieces of equipment,” Rob Kleinsmith explained. He said scheduled upkeep of Arthur’s air circulation and boiler systems — not waiting for them to break down — helps keep the district’s $20-million-per-year maintenance needs manageable. The school is also due for about $40,000 worth of new floor tile and external masonry work this summer. Kleinsmith admits it’s a lot of upkeep, but it’s cheaper than the alternative. “We would never be able to build a [new] building like we have now,” Kleinsmith said. “We wouldn’t be able to afford it.” Part of what makes Arthur unique is its annex, which stands apart from the main building, according to Principal Angi Hoyer.


Great Falls schools changing with the times
-- Richard Ecke, Great Falls Tribune

Montana: May 26, 2015 -- Great Falls High School was crammed in 1965, and students endured double shifts. "I'll never forget running to catch my bus at 5:30 in the morning and watching the sun come up in Mr. Hanson's Russian history class," recalled Candy Wagner of Great Falls. "The dark before dawn made Ivan seem all that more terrible, and the golden glow of sunrise smiled on Catherine's (the Great) enlightened despotism." The student body was split in two — the first shift began at 6:30 a.m., and the second around lunchtime — so school administrators planning graduation for nearly 800 seniors that year decided graduation would be split, too. But this was the '60s, after all, and students protested. "Several of us went to bat against the administration, and pleaded our case so strongly that we won the concession to have a united graduation in the (Memorial) stadium, with one caveat: 'You'd better pray for good weather,' " Wagner reported. "June 1, 1965, was one of the most beautiful summer evenings I've ever known. We sat under a cloudless sky, only a gentle breeze blowing, and didn't mind the length of time it took to get everyone from Aafedt to Zuleger across the stage."

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