Board Work Session Agenda/Minutes 4-20-15

Watch video of the meeting through
All attachments in pdf

April 20, 2015 - Board Work Session
7:00 p.m. - Board Room
131 W. Nittany Avenue
State College, PA 16801


(Work Session Briefing)


District Goal Category: Facilities & Grounds
A. High School Project:
         Calendar Review (attachment III-A1)
         Estimate Review
               Overview, Comparisons and Discussion (attachment III-A2) (attachment III-A2a)
               Crabtree Rohrbaugh Associates (attachment III-A3)
               Massaro Construction Management (attachment III-A4)
B. Discussion of Feedback received during 60% Review (attachment III-B) (PowerPoint)
         Performing Arts
         Physical Education and Athletics (attachment III-B2)
C. Decision Points for April 27 Meeting (attachment III-C)
D. Financing for District-Wide Facilities Master Plan (attachment III-D) (III-D Memo)



April 27, 2015 - Regular Meeting
**Action Items
Financial Reports for February 2015 (Routine Approval)
Approval of Three Foreign Exchange Students (Routine Approval)
Award bid for site work for the High School project (phased bidding)
Approval of Young Scholars Charter School Renewal
Accept 60% Documents with Board direction for the HS Project
CEEL Update for 2015-2016
District Goal Category: Fiscal Stewardship
         2015-16 Budget - Presentation of Proposed Final Budget
         STS Review Update
         Proposed Supplemental Property Tax Rebate Program
District Goal Category: Facilities & Grounds
         Request for Proposal for Assessment for Fairmount and Nittany Avenue Buildings

May 4, 2015 Regular Meeting
**Action Items
Approve Proposed Supplemental Property Tax Rebate Program
Approve 2015-2016 Proposed Final Budget
Approve Recommendation Regarding STS Contract

May 18, 2015 Regular Meeting
**Action Items
Approve Policy 004.1 - Student Representative to the Board
Presentation of 2015-2016 Final Budget

June 1, 2015 - Budget Hearing - Board Room, 7:00 p.m.

June 8, 2015 - Regular Meeting
**Action Items
Approve 2015-2016 Budget
Approve General Fund Resolution
Approve Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion Resolution
Approve Annual Tax Levy Resolution

June 22, 2015 - Regular Meeting
**Action Items



Ms. Concepcion called the work session of the State College Area School District Board of Directors to order at 7:04 p.m. She welcomed all attending and those viewing from home. Ms. Concepcion announced the Board had an executive session prior to the meeting on student discipline, personnel, and negotiations. She asked board members if they had any changes to the agenda, there were no changes.

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, Scott Fozard, David Hutchinson, Jim Leous, Ann McGlaughlin, Jim Pawelczyk, Dorothea Stahl, Laurel Zydney
Board members absent :
Board Secretary: Mary Jenn Dorman
Superintendent: Robert O’Donnell
District Personnel: Sara Brennen, Randy Brown, Scott DeShong, Michael Hardy, Peg Pennepacker, Ed Poprik, Donna Reinhardt, Chris Rosenblum, Donna Watson
Guests: John Beddia, Gretchen Brandt, Dan Duffy, Michael Garrett, Matt Harlow, Tim Jones, Dan Kieffer, Kevin Nestor, Jeff Straub, Scott Thomas

Dr. O’Donnell noted that Wednesday, April 22, 6:00 p.m., there would be a Community Forum in the High School South Cafeteria. The design team and administration team will be present to recap feedback to date. There will be an overview and then attendees will break out into a general session/phasing and two others from the feedback regarding the design to date.
District Goal Category: Facilities & Grounds High School Project Calendar Review
Mr. Poprik spoke on the summer site work with the bid opening Wednesday, and the bid award on the April 27 agenda. There will be no contract until we receive the OK from PDE. He noted the district is planning a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for May 14, 2015 and we may/may not have broken ground by then. The ceremony will be late afternoon on the South campus. He reviewed dates and noted that it would be a struggle to make the dates stated on the calendar in the bottom half. They want 90% documents to be accurate for the floor plan, there really is no flexibility after 60%, once CRA receives direction they need to reflect, and the floor plan and footprint going into 90% need to be done.
Estimate Review Overview, Comparisons and Discussion
Mr. Poprik noted that CRA estimate is at $124,305,861 and Massaro is at $135,223,721. We received the $2 million grant for LEED Gold for South and applied for another LEED Gold grant for the North and will know May 13 if it has been approved. CRA has heard that we have met all the requirements. So with the $4 million the estimates go to $120,305,861 for CRA and $131,223,721 for Massaro and with the Middle Level Delta taken out, CRA is slightly under budget at $114,518,891 and Massaro is still over budget at $125,446,751. There has been additional square footage added to the 60% documents that were printed a month ago. We need to shrink the project or find efficiencies and there is over $2.3 million in further development in addition to the estimate.

Crabtree Rohrbaugh Associates Estimate
Mr. Straub explained that both teams are looking at things for the cost estimate, there is a swing between the numbers, but he anticipates them to come closer. CRA were able to use numbers from recent experience of another project and reviewed breakdowns by divisions. The square footage at 60% was 488,000 sq.ft. and now is 503,000 sq. ft. He spoke on the requests that were coming to the Board direction for the Performing Arts altering the overall budget or pull back on these. Board members discussed: the asbestos abatement, program changes, 30% being guesses and 60% being more actual spaces, a level of refinement, mechanical not being designed yet and looking at $24/sq. ft. with a $3.00 spread. Mr. Poprik added they talked today to monitor the market and have clean drawings.
Massaro Construction Management
Mr. Kieffer noted that Massaro’s estimate differs greatly from CRA since it is based on recent past practice. Massaro is carrying a 3.5% for overhead and an 8.5% contingency, usually, the 30% and 90% estimates are very close to one another. Initially, the project was $28 million over budget. Mr. Straub added that Mr. Kieffer was correct that CRA was going off of recent track record with buildings and they are trying to get the most building for the cost projected by the Board. He noted that we cannot be adding things at this point, many being concerned with changes being made, need to be concerned about quality of drawings, and things being out of their scope of understanding. Board members discussed: being 9.5% apart, with the actual spread being 4%, teams feeling good about this, having a stellar set of documents, Massaro reviews documents from CRA, and also gives to  technical staff to make as clean as possible prior to going out to bid. It was noted that Massaro’s contingency is an estimator that decreases to almost nothing by bid day of the project.
Board members had a break from 8:15 to 8:27 p.m.
IV. Discussion of Feedback received during 60% Review
Performing Arts
Mr. Straub had a PowerPoint presentation and spoke about a meeting with Performing Arts and heard concerns and requested additions that would be reviewed. The schedule has been affected by one month. They will present items tonight and a decision would need to be made at the April 27 meeting. Changes were made and the current organization of spaces supports the auditorium, rock ensemble is in a music classroom, and top section is storage, and none of this has been presented to Performing Arts. He reviewed information for the auditorium main floor seating, stage depth, ADA accessibility, location of the sound booth, orchestra pit concerns, balcony seating, and the elevator being much larger than anticipated. Board members discussed: two stairwells, having good acoustics with a balcony is possible, having a high performance stage, the balcony allows for additional lighting, the fly height, additional costs for manual rigging, lighting, acoustical shells, possible motorized rigging, changes from performance to theatrical (lighting), and hydraulic orchestra pit request. All being above and beyond base, the current lighting system being eight years old, and a floor plan being safe for the hydraulic system.

Mr. Straub pointed out the time sensitive items and noted they could be bid alternates. Board further discussed: the restrooms being back in, the two story space from the main level, the commons being away from the music and band, the loading dock and stair access, and the placement of HVAC. Mr. Poprik spoke on addressing concerns but adds square footage and that they are not recommending for Board to reject all and go back to the design. Board members continued discussion: total increase of 6,900 sq. ft., the storage spaces, the original LE space and now at 60% refers you back to the music commons, things being in flux, the sq. ft. needed for a program, an analysis of how many students, how often utilized, etc., ArtSmart vs. Blackbox, challenges for a specific program, Brain Spaces and component of the design, and Mr. Poprik added that there is no usage study to help make decisions. The building is a new educational model, there are some judgement calls that cannot be determined by a spreadsheet.

Mr. Straub spoke on the square footage comparison of BrainSpaces to present 481,000 to 503,000, looking at being 4.5% larger, the sq. ft. for storage has more than doubled, and tightening things up for storage. Board members noted: Need to go back and sharpen pencil, we need rooms, not performing spaces, the need to understand usage, if we do this we need to do for all programs, Board members make the decision with the budget, BrainSpaces provided a service and we should have a product, no board members have the expertise or knowledge, there is no way to judge and nothing to compare it to, and trying to balance education and a program that services the community. Mr. Poprik added that they owed the board members recommendations and rationales for the recommendations, and will come back with an analysis. Dr. O’Donnell noted there has been much activity in a short time period. Square footage is real dollars and we have a definite budget, not an infinite budget. Further discussion on: the percentage of usage for all school room utilization, going back to the way spaces are used, starting to build in two months and going back is a little unrealistic, decisions of “go and no-go” moving forward, and not just trying to figure out a high school plan. This cannot be a mediocre project but need to know what we need for scheduling and programing.
Board members took a break for 9:42 p.m. to 10:01 p.m.
Physical Education and Athletics
Ms. Concepcion noted that they would revisit decision points the Board needs to make. Dr. O’Donnell noted there needs to be multiple interactions with the Board and design team. The process is not complete and May 4 there will be conversations to give the design team direction. We also have a hold on May 11 for the same purpose and Mr. Poprik added there would be discussion points for the April 27 meeting and May 4 and May 11 would be for decision points.
Mr. Poprik noted that the discussion is a little different for Physical Education and Athletics due to being an inclusion issue. Mr. DeShong reviewed the square footage analysis, what was proposed on the 60% design, collaborated with the Athletics Director and Athletics Coordinator on information, the total amount of square footage with the bid alternates, the fitness center fitting into curriculum and the number of people that access the center. One of the impacts of the Delta Program is that it impacts the number of teaching stations and noted that in a single day in 2015-2016, there could be almost 600 students, so to exclude the alternate bids would be impactful. There would also be athletic implications and Ms. Pennepacker operated in spaces, not in square footage, and not having the additional spaces would create a domino effect. Board members discussed: The Ag Space in the North building, site would specifically be on the South side, students would not cross the street only for swimming, square footage/student is a bad idea, the problem needs to be solved, how did these spaces become alternates, physical education is a graduation requirement, we need an adequate high school, need to have safety and security, we need a better plan for check-in, and we do need a decision on these spaces. These spaces must be built and are not optional, the eight spaces do not include Delta, so really nine teaching spaces are needed.
Board members took a break from 10:32 p.m. to 10:40 p.m.
To wrap up the physical education spaces, Dr. O’Donnell noted that clarity was pointed out for students to be on one side of the street, consider two alternates in the base bid, the Delta piece also needs more clarity along with the weight room. Ms. Pennepacker’s attachment that was handed out will be attached to the agenda and will also be part of the minutes.

There will be further thinking for all items to be recommended at the April 27 or May 4 meeting along with providing the rationale for the thinking. Board member questioned the impact to the timeline that had already been discussed at the beginning of the meeting and Mr. Poprik noted we are tracking a month behind.

Mr. Straub spoke to the land development and meeting with code officials later in the week, the approval time may affect the overall schedule, and the summer package does put us in a good position. This is a complex project but it has actually gone very smoothly. The clarity around decisions does need to be better. Board members discussed the timing of the North side kitchen.

Mr. Brown thought it would be helpful to look at the whole system and noted this is not a one-time conversation.
He reviewed that it would be good to have a model for decisions and showed funding potential in the future. He reviewed that $75 million was from the bond sale that provided $85 million in proceeds, spoke on debt service that is non-referendum, minor capital expenses, the Capital Reserve Fund, for analysis purposes and know buildings that need attention showed resources for projects, and reminded all that these are major assumptions.
The $20 million for the HS Project would be a wrapped structure but all other levels have no wrapped structure and will be looking at 25-year or 20-year terms. Board members discussed: Getting the High School started and then start on plans for the DWFMP, any guidelines for how much debt service a district should carry, excluding referendum we are no where near our maximum borrowing amount, thanked Mr. Brown for providing this information, being realistic to put in some of the options provided, this is very easily understood, good framework for conversations in the future, the point that we would restart the process, a desirable fund balance, not having to have future board go to referendum again, having to do some financing, can not do all through funding, capital plan is the most important legacy we want to leave, having a plan to cycle through projects, the interest rate used being 3.8%, current debt completely gone by 2030, and in a seven-year window there are five major projects. Mr. Brown noted he would continue to refine this and the Subcommittee for Facilities and Grounds or the Board can let him know when they would like this brought back.
Mr. Thomas addressed the Board and reviewed background on the 30% documents looking different at the 60% review concerning music and performing arts. Boosters, students, parents and faculty came forward with concerns and have had questions of details. He reviewed:
1) Performing Arts looking at 4,900 sq. ft. The project has gone from 481,000 to 503,000 sq.ft. and are
the other 22,000 sq ft. being looked at as well?
2) Comparing use spaces that this building does not have
3) Faculty in storage areas and ideally, they should not be
4) The Phys. Ed. spaces also a domino effect with less than ideal spaces and does not lend to sustainable
5) Every night there could be a performance with different spaces in the new High School Mr. Thomas noted that Mr. Brown spoke on it being critical to continue to fund the Facilities Master Plan, and back in 2008, there was a decade that no new construction happened. The previous Board and this Board has suffered from that. He thanked the Board and appreciates all the time and effort they have put into this. He understands that it is not easy. Mr. Poprik noted that no construction happened from 1972-1989, nearly two decades.
Ms. Concepcion asked board members to review the future agenda items and if there were any questions, they could contact board leadership. May 11, 2015 should be held for a meeting/work session.
Ms. McGlaughlin moved and Ms. Fishbaine seconded to adjourn the work session. All board members present voted aye with a voice vote. The motion passed unanimously. Ms. Concepcion adjourned the work session at 11:45 p.m.
Submitted by,
Mary Jenn Dorman, Board Secretary