Facilities Planning for a 21st Century Education

futureOn October 21, 2014, the Board of Education held a special meeting to consider the condition and functionality of District facilities and discuss next steps for addressing facilities needs.

The Board focused on facilities issues that were not addressed during either the seismic safety program (completed in 2013) or recent tech infrastructure upgrades (completed in 2014).  Also, the Board focused primarily on Piedmont Middle School and Piedmont High School, because the three elementary schools underwent comprehensive modernization during the seismic safety program.

The Board will develop a plan to work with educators, the school community, the City of Piedmont, and the Piedmont Community to assess facilities needs and prioritize needed improvements.  The guiding considerations are to support teaching and learning, to serve the educational needs of and enhance opportunities for all students.

At the October 21st meeting, District staff presented information about the condition of each District facility, including compliance with current standards for accessibility and fire and life safety.  In addition, staff presented ongoing considerations including:  suitability of facilities to support educational programs; capacity of facilities to accommodate increasing enrollment; availability of State funding for modernization and energy efficiency projects; and bonding capacity for capital improvements.  This information included the following materials:

Approved by the Board in 2006, the PUSD Master Plan consists of architectural and engineering assessments that identified both seismic risk and accessibility needs.  This Master Plan provided the basis for the seismic safety program, defining the scope and priority level of individual projects.  All structural seismic safety risks have since been addressed, although several accessibility and fire and life safety code compliance issues remain.

Approved by the Board in 2008, the Mini Master Plan identifies functional needs of each school site, such as the infrastructure to accommodate increased use of technology in the classrooms.  Many (but not all) of these functional needs were addressed during the seismic safety program.

In addition to considering the unresolved safety, accessibility, and functionality issues identified in the Master Plan and Mini Master Plan, the Board discussed the capacity of facilities to accommodate changing enrollment, as the student population grew by 150 over the last four years.

The Board will develop a plan to work with educators, the school community, the City of Piedmont, and the Piedmont Community to assess facilities needs and prioritize needed improvements.  The guiding considerations are to support teaching and learning, to serve the educational needs of and enhance opportunities for all students.

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