Board Work Session Agenda/Minutes 10-21-13

The approved minutes are posted below. All attachments are PDFs.
October 21, 2013 Board Work Session
7:00 pm – Board Room
131 W. Nittany Avenue
State College, PA 16801

I. Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance

II. Project Calendar Update
(attachment II)

III. Draft Educational Model and Specifications

      Review Draft Educational Model and Specifications Document (Memo) (attachment III)
      Comparison with Current Program

IV. Option Development

      Reflection on Options 1 & 2 (PowerPoint from 10/14)
      Program Proposals: Parking and Athletic Fields (attachment IV-A and attachment IV-B)

V. High School Project Financing (attachment V)

VI. October 28 - Board Meeting

VII. Public Comment

VIII. Adjournment

October 21, 2013 Board Work Session 7:00 pm – Board Room
131 W. Nittany Avenue
State College, PA 16801

I. Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance
Penni Fishbaine, board president, called the work session to order at 7:00 p.m. She welcomed and thanked all in attendance for the work session and those viewing from home. Ms. Fishbaine noted that the project calendar update would be moved towards the end of the presentation.
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, Laurel Zydney (joined the meeting at 7:03pm)
Board members absent: Dorothea Stahl
Board Secretary: Mary Jenn Dorman
Assistant Superintendent: Michael Hardy
District Personnel: Randy Brown, Scott DeShong, Linda Eggebeen, Julie Miller, Ed Poprik, Wilda Stanfield
Guests: Scott Fozard, Matt Harlow, Mark Higgins, Matt Morgan, Scott Thomas

Mr. Poprik explained the importance for understanding how the high school will be designed. The Educational Specification document is done for PDE, he provided the definition and explained what Ed Specs contain. He noted that the focus for this session was to provide information and take feedback and responses from board members to the architects. Some agreement on the following items is needed for them to continue forward:
● Agreement with the academy concept
● Agreement with the facility and space descriptions
● Agreement with the square footage

Mr. DeShong spoke on the Ed Model and the work at the high school, the shared understanding and Four Pillars, the group of over 50 people met for what is important to our school community, and referred to Amy Yurko’s work with the student body and faculty/staff, which outlined the guiding principles. Relationships, Choice, Relevance, and Rigorous Learning are included, but not all of the guiding principles. Relationships are the key, program, space, time in school day, schedule, and transitions are important.
He spoke on the site visits and schools with five Learning Communities, 9th grade and four others. Two action teams were formed to work on 9th grade academy and Learning Communities for grades 10 - 12. The team looked at last year and realized less than half of the students had a study hall. They have met with student government and the Ed Model planning team for looking at short-term space and how to utilize the space we currently have. We are working on an action plan for 2014-2015 school year for the 9th grade academy and a plan for 2015-2016 for the 10-12 Learning Communities. Mr. Hardy added that he had spent time in the room with discussion of these happening and all involved had very productive thinking and good energy.

Mr. Poprik noted there are differences between the Ed Specs and the current space. He referred to page 54 tables in the Ed Specs document and reviewed the various spaces that would be used in a dynamic way. Currently, 70 classes at the high school are team taught, students looking for small groups, spoke on differentiated instruction, project commons not in the current high school, white board and writing opportunities, lecture hall - High School South has two spaces that teachers can have class with students, librarian can have a class with students coming and going, and the dining areas. A draft of the Ed Specs will be on the October 28 meeting agenda for adoption.

Board members discussed: Commons area and the square footage chosen, the difference of the student commons and project commons, 9th grade in play for 2014-2015 and 10-12 Learning Communities in place 2015-2016, model will be in place prior to the new building, do what is best for students, for now it would be in spite of the building and when new one is complete, it would be because of the building and enhance, clustering academic villages done well, small groups and large groups, instructional space, large spaces not clear, agoras not addressed in this document, movable furniture and partitions, concerned about space, cost factor and other possible options, teacher input and have they bought in, the size of Learning Communities, presenting things that we have go away, transition of 9th grade academy setup is good academics for the 10-12 students, collaborative time provided to teachers and professional time with continuity will provide better learning for students, framework provided will provide curricular choice, do not want to lose choice, PlanCon is in moratorium right now and doing Ed Specs for our own purpose, and if PlanCon comes back will this cover what is needed. Mr. Poprik responded yes.

Discussed what has been used in cost estimating by Crabtree Rohrbaugh, the gross area/net area and grossing factor of 1.4 used by Brainspaces, CR is using 1.5 for schematic work, new building will provide project learning that cannot be provided now, utilization rate, how does number of teaching stations compare with staffing, same amount of staffing as we currently have, assessing school climate with staff/students/parents, page 25 drawing and an explanation on large groups, the 9th grade experience, the Learning Communities experience, surveying 9th graders and parents, doing our building around this idea and several years ago it did not catch on, make sure we have support out there, the support is key to bringing it all together, Ed Specs and idea of flexibility, and building for the next 50 years.

Reflect on Option 1 and Option 2
Mr. Poprik noted there would be a review of the options and the board would provide feedback for architects for the October 28 meeting. They will have floor plans further developed, site plans for ideas and concepts, and provide a LEED discussion. Board questions and reactions of the options will lead to discussion of preference of one or the other. To focus on one design, aids the architects moving forward.

Option 1 - Mr. Poprik reviewed the site, building on the South side and North with traffic flow, the floor plan, renovated area and new construction, circulation issues, level-by-level with change in grade, first floor at grade on Westerly Parkway and second floor at grade with the soccer field, and the third floor stack.

Option 2 - Mr. Poprik noted that the building was in front of the South building, closer to the North building, renovation is the interior of building, new construction is the face of the building, lower floor near Westerly Parkway, second floor on level with renovated section, and third floor on grade up toward the track. Architects think that option 2 is a better design to satisfy our Educational Specifications and Model.

Board members discussed: liking Option 2 more due to the design more open and less bulky, the cost difference (will be discussed on October 28), constructability with phasing, the curved lines, the daylight with this design, Option 1 - Westward Expansion and Option 2 - Crescent, Crescent makes more sense for Learning Communities, phasing is going to be difficult, disruptive and challenging, have not seen a two building option, people like the two buildings, we need numbers to be able to share, would need board direction to look at this, most board members had no interest to do this, the compactness of Option 2 offers opportunities for more circulation and separation, there were different preferences in the community, would like this to be appealing to everyone, like the new construction on the front, the design speaks to the idea of separate communities, and would like to see the percentage that is renovated with the comparison between the Options. Mr. Harlow added that he liked Option 2 best and it would work better on the site, very suitable and good in terms of storm water, not to mention the spectacular view.

Athletic Fields
Mr. Poprik explained the only thing that was different is that tennis courts were added. This discussion will be saved for October 28 meeting to look at with the rest of the site.

Board members discussed: will not fit the program, look at new opportunities with the Regional Park, fall and spring are the worst, Memorial Field, concept does not reduce the amount of field space we have, Community Field, enhance fields but no turf field, field support physical education, need some place to park cars, either fields off site or parking off site.

Mr. Poprik noted the memo has changed in terms of the range. He reviewed the six-column chart; noted increase last time was from 720 to 825, still an increase but to 757, which is lower than the first estimate. Mr. Harlow can work with a range of 757 to 825 spaces for parking.
Board members discussed: parking comes in lowest, status of driver education range, need to think about parking to support community functions, band practice that currently uses the South parking lot, what about behind Welch Pool, that area is a detention basin, parking requests exceed supply, satellite parking as a solution, the Option 2 uses up the parking in the front, and areas may be suitable for traffic circulation and other uses.

Board members took a break from 9:20 to 9:29 p.m.

Mr. Brown noted that the update was created from last Monday’s board meeting. He referred to paragraph #3 on the memo that showed assumptions, reviewed projections that showed five - seven percent related to Referendum debt, annual cost to debt change, millage, and revenue generated by the mill. He also reviewed the repayment of debt.
Board members discussed: items on page 8, the repayment period of 30 years on everything, Referendum borrowing $89 million or $77 million (wrapped), projected increase for assessed value growth, compare level debt with wrapped debt, understanding the cost difference, no decision for 30- year bonds yet, two different scenarios for 20 and 25 year bonds, 30-year bonds typical for a project this size, county taxpayers have a debt service item already, administration knows what this looks like, Page 2 and .5 mills, page 12 regarding the additional HS payment under the wrap, none of the projects on page 8 will pass referendum, increase district allocation, we need to get the word out there, lots do not realize we are doing this, this project could increase the value of this community, the prepayment issue was explained, assessed value growth is coming from commercial this year, decisions the Board needs to make and in what order, need a total project cost, no decision can be made singularly, need to make a decision about the referendum amount, and do not want to have project decisions made and then the referendum amount is too much.

Mr. Poprik reviewed the updated calendar and noted that the meeting with the Borough Council is to be determined, and he will continue to update the version from tonight to the Referendum vote, May 20, 2014.

Mr. Poprik informed the Board with moving further, there are some things to think about and referred to the calendar for what is proposed on October 28. Should we maintain the majority of the North footprint or raze the site for development. Ms. Fishbaine noted that an administrative memo from October 14 meeting appears to recommend that all functions from the Fairmount Ave. Building be moved to the North Building.

Board members discussed: The exercise of emptying Fairmount into North, empty Fairmount into appropriate locations, best way to position programs there, no demolition to North, some portions of North not to be used, what happens to site development, do South side and not North, gave parking example, reserve enough of North to put functions we want there, need to keep some of the building - not everything, need to know what would be the right amount, the key is what we need to keep and will be useful, still do not know if we can fund this project, storm water detention and where this fits into the schedule, on site accommodations effect parking or fields or do off-site, final option on calendar for December 2, possible for a meeting for community comment before approval, budget will also be discussed that same meeting, not a final budget but could be a pre-final option.

VII. Adjournment
Ms. McGlaughlin moved and Dr. Roper seconded to adjourn the meeting. All board members present voted aye with a voice vote. The motion passed. Ms. Fishbaine adjourned the meeting at 10:44 p.m.

Submitted by,
Mary Jenn Dorman Board Secretary