Board Work Session Agenda/Minutes 7-15-13

The approved minutes are posted below the agenda. All attachments are PDFs.
 
July 15, 2013 Board Work Session
6:15 p.m. – Board Room
131 W. Nittany Avenue
State College, PA 16801
 
I. Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance
 
II. Memorial Field Update - Presentation (2.5 mb)   link to larger version (8.5 mb)
 
III. High School Project
a. Calendar Update
b. Downselect Overview
c. Survey Results from SSRS
IV. Public Comment
 
V. Adjournment
Minutes
July 15, 2013 Board Work Session
6:15 p.m. – Board Room
131 W. Nittany Avenue
State College, PA 16801

I. Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance
Ms. Fishbaine called the work session to order at 6:18 p.m. She welcomed and thanked all in attendance and those viewing from home. Ms. Fishbaine noted the Board had an executive session July 8, 2013 on personnel.

A copy of all materials distributed to board members for discussion and/or action is included with the official minutes, unless otherwise indicated.

Board members present: Amber Concepcion, Penni Fishbaine, David Hutchinson, Jim Leous, Ann McGlaughlin, Jim Pawelczyk, Gowen Roper, Dorothea Stahl (arrived 7:23 p.m.), Laurel Zydney (arrived 6:43 p.m.)
Board members absent:
Board Secretary: Mary Jenn Dorman
Solicitor:
Superintendent: Robert O’Donnell
District Personnel: Julie Miller, Ed Poprik, Wilda Stanfield
Guests: David Dutwin, Barbara Fisher, Scott Fozard, Micaela Hayes, Laurie Heininger, Patricia Herr, Mark Higgins, Dave Hunter, Dawn Maguire, Matt Morgan, Matt Mueller, Pete Mueller, William Mueller, Mike Paston, Dave Peck, Tammy Perkins, Dan Rowland, Michele Rowland, Scott Thomas, Kelly Wilkins, Deb Winneberger

II. MEMORIAL FIELD UPDATE
Sinkhole Project
Mr. Poprik noted that the Memorial Field Project is tracking to be complete on time. He provided a recap of the remaining project schedule with the final completion date of September 13, 2013. Mr. Poprik spoke on the sinkhole project that began April 4 and was completed May 16, 2013. The project was done by the Borough and with pictures in a PowerPoint presentation he reviewed the process of the excavation, collection box, the storm pipes from Nittany Ave., Fraser St., and the pipe that moves the water to the sinkhole. Plastic preparations for storms, opening of the sinkhole as much as it could, and the concrete structure where shown as stages of completion to the finished grade.

West Bleacher Project
Mr. Poprik reviewed that the demolition on the existing bleachers began April 4, 2013, a temporary ramp was built for equipment, existing lights removed, showed a masonry mock-up for wall, concrete pours for new field level retaining wall, and installation of new masonry. Had the severe storm on June 27, Fraser Street retaining wall collapsed, and the Arts Festival exhibitors needed re-routed from Fraser Street. More plastic protection was added for continued storms, showed a second pipe to vortex box, and the shoring of Fraser St. and Nittany Ave. with I beams of concrete to prevent movement. The turf is being removed this week, new turf arrives Wednesday of next week, and Mr. Poprik reviewed the remainder of the schedule for the back wall and bleachers for a completion date of September 13, 2013. Mr. Walsh, Assistant Athletic Director joined Mr. Poprik at the table for board discussion and questions.
 
Board members discussed: the new entrance, being open for the first varsity home football game, JV and Middle School scrimmages being held at Community Field, going with Plan A - games will be at Memorial Field, there are no other competitions on the field before September, great joint effort with good partners, the rest of the renovation work, depends on the high school, capital projects, development potential, by a brick campaign for along Fraser Street, the amount of the project being approximately $2.8 million, a little over $3 million with the turf, all is necessary work to improve the safety of the field, only lighted field students are on, and the need for the project.

Ms. Zydney arrived at 6:43 p.m.

III. CALENDAR UPDATE for HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT
Mr. Poprik noted that the calendar had been updated and the first downselect is in one week. We will need to start land acquisition in a week if Concept E remains. He reviewed the process meeting-by-meeting and by October 14, the board is projected to adopt a Draft Ed Specs. The board will continue to refine the option and will need to have a draft final design early February 2014, approve the referendum question late March 2014 for the May 2014 Referendum. Mike Paston joined Mr. Poprik at the table for board discussion.
 
Board members discussed: There is no prescribed detail for a referendum question and Mr. Paston explained the level of detail “required.” Mr. Poprik added that you find the place where there is not a lot of money spent but have done due diligence, have artist rendering, floor plans, sizes of spaces, interior spaces, and an estimate to that level. Board members spoke on Phase I of the Master Plan and construction management was brought in early, the value of getting a second opinion for cost, and could be money well spent. Mr. Poprik responded that many construction management firms have already approached him and if the board would like to discuss this, he could go that direction.

Dr. O’Donnell noted there are two parts to the analysis: Hire a firm, or staff it out. There will need to be further discussion. Board members noted: There were construction managers for the elementary projects, need to understand better how the estimates are accurate, as this ramps up it could be more than CAC can handle, has value to show public that we are serious with what we are doing, and put out a reminder that a Community Forum will be held Tuesday, August 13, High School South Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

Board members took a break 6:57 to 7:07 p.m.

IV. DOWNSELECT OVERVIEW
Ms. Fishbaine reviewed the timeline July 22 through September 11, 2013. Spoke on the first downselect and having a separate motion for each concept that would be removed, and the process is very thorough showing Concepts most/least invested in the community.

Dr. O’Donnell noted that Mike Paston was present and helping in the journey to Referendum, and David Dutwin and Deb Winneberger from SSRS to present the survey results. Board members would be able to ask clarifying questions of each of the slides.

Ms. Stahl arrived at 7:23 p.m.

V. SURVEY RESULTS FROM SSRS
Mr. Dutwin introduced himself and noted that he was the Executive Vice-President of the Research Firm. He spoke on the lack of people having telephone land-lines and that a few years ago, they went from telephone surveys to ABS (address based sample), he explained about block groups in State College, and the return rate. Board members asked about weighting and only sent to registered voters.

Ms. Winneberger reviewed the results of the survey 6,750 were sent, 1,857 were returned (273 on-line and 1,584 paper), 1,667 qualified as being registered voters, and she noted the importance of each factor. The community showed support for the following Plans:
● Plan B (70%) - Addition/Renovate Existing with Bridge Across
● Plan D (61%) - Renovate/New Construction on the South Side
● Plan E (51%) - New School/New Site

Community showed the largest opposition to Plans A - C - F
Plans supported by the municipalities are Plans B - D - E

Board members discussed: Plans C and E have strong support and strong opposition, the percentage that need more information, results were very thorough and thanked people who returned the surveys, need to work hard to communicate, look at demographics to know who and where they are, 1 in 7 need more information, different meanings of “need more information,” and the response rate shows that we engaged the community and a lot of communication was sent. There is a high level of interest.

Mr. Paston was asked how he thought question #11 should be interpreted and what number the district should put in. He responded that the school should meet the educational need, not just how much people are willing to pay. The educational model should keep moving ahead. Board discussed: the dollar amount to provide education, the degree of what we are satisfying what they want, we are eight months away from developing the question, going on a primary election rather than a special election, the difference of what people are willing to spend, this shows incredible community interest compared to 2008, and strong support for Westerly Parkway.

VI. PUBLIC COMMENT
The following audience members addressed the board:
--Barbara Fisher has been a State College resident since 1965, came here for the quality of life offered, the caliber of SCASD, and the creative opportunities provided. She spoke on the full support of taxpayers for what is best to be done, the high population of students, a secure sister high school with a personal setting, what two high schools could do to provide a good foundation and thanked all the board members for what they do for the distinguished education offered for all to be proud of.
--Dave Hunter spoke of the 50% support and the 50% cut off simply not statistically supportive, the answers people give are on the context, reasonable amount to spend on a school, people do not know what a reasonable amount is, mean vs. median, and mean is worthless.
--Dan Rowland in looking at different reports and pages thought things were drilling down for Option E, can we get support for E instead of what is the best, polarizing, reasons people do/do not like, and thought that it looked a little weighted and does not think it was meant to be that way.
-Kelly Wilkins voiced that she agreed with what Mr. Rowland said and now it is narrowing down B - D - E and what filters out and the similarities between the different Concepts.
--Micaela Hayes spoke on building a building but the educational program is the main thing, false forced choice at Westerly Parkway, curious about populations sticking out, the Borough strongly opposed to Concept E, and did not feel there were a lot of other details.
--Michele Rowland spoke on question #8 regarding site preference, needing more information on what will become of the current high school location?
--Scott Fozard spoke on this being the start of the process, knocking out the low hanging fruit, hard parts are yet to come, passing the referendum is critical, education mission needs of the district will drive and determine the perfect building, the $100 - $120 million range, will community not support any more, provide reasons why it would be worth it, and it is a worthwhile investment in the community.

Board members discussed: the downselect process and from our groups what is important in a high school, CACs are engaged members of community and district, people are proud of education in this community, safety/security so high at the top, still have the drop box for questions and feedback on our website, there is a lot of information on the website, and still have a lot to discuss between now and September.

VII. ADJOURNMENT
Dr. Pawelczyk moved and Ms. McGlaughlin seconded to adjourn the work session. All board members present voted aye with a voice vote. The motion passed and Ms. Fishbaine adjourned the work session at 8:50 p.m. to an executive session on personnel.

Submitted by,
Mary Jenn Dorman
Board Secretary