Town Hall 1

On October 16, 2014, the Facilities Committee and the Board of School Directors held the first Town Hall Meeting - "The Refresher" - to discuss the Springfield High School Master Plan.

The meeting began with a presentation by the Facilities Committee, followed by an open question and answer session. In addition, question cards were provided so that attendees could submit any further inquiries directly to the Facilities Committee.

Watch Town Hall Meeting 1: The Refresher on SETV

Watch Town Hall Meeting 1: Q&A on SETV

View the presentation .pdf for Town Hall Meeting 1: The Refresher

Q&A From Question Cards

Question cards were distributed and collected at the town hall meeting. Questions have been divided by topic below; if one submission covered numerous topics, the question has been repeated in each appropriate section.



COSTS AND FINANCING

I respect the effort Mr. Mooney et al put into the study. As you know, there is are a lot of empty nesters that would be greatly burdened. Have you thought outside the box about cutting costs? State regs add a significant percentage to the cost. Have you sat down with Mr. Adolph or Mr. Erickson about getting relief from the state?

No discussions have been held with Mr. Adolph or Mr. Erickson regarding the financing of the proposed master plan. The future status of the state's PlanCon program could have a positive impact on the state reimbursement on this project. For more information about PlanCon, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


How much is this new school going to cost the taxpayers? Will the senior citizens be given a tax break?

The projection included in the presentation included a range of $250 for the maintain scenario to $425 for the New Leamy Avenue scenario. These increases are projected on the median assessed value of $146,050 and will be phased in over a period of 9 years. Tax credits provided to senior citizens will be based on the current legislation for Pennsylvania at that point in time.


If Tom McGarrigle wins the election, what is the likelihood that the projected expenses can be offset by other funds? Why wait until 2017 or later? Location of buses?

State legislation has supported capital projects undertaken by school districts through the PlanCon process. State funding was allocated again this past year and district projects were approved for state funding. The senate and house can support the PlanCon process in future budgets which in turn will reimburse a percentage of the costs for the district. For more information about PlanCon, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The location of the bus yard will be moved to another location as part of the master plan implementation.


Costs to do all needed updates to current building vs. new building? Athletic field while new site is being built? Where will athletics take place in the meantime? Time to build new? Time to do upgrades?

The costs for updating the existing building range from $90 million to $110 million. The costs to build a new building are projected to range from $118 million to $150 million. The athletic fields impacted during the construction period will be moved to township parks and the stadium field. The projected duration of the projects range from 36 months to 60 months. See slide 1.37 from the Town Hall Meeting 1 presentation for the schedule.

CURRENT FACILITY

Mainly want to know "why" we need a new school? The one we have seems pretty nice to me.

In Town Hall Meeting 2 (to be held on Thursday, November 13th), the presentation will be focused on the existing conditions of the current building and what projects will be required to maintain the building and keep it safe while providing a quality environment for student learning.


Costs to do all needed updates to current building vs. new building? Athletic field while new site is being built? Where will athletics take place in the meantime? Time to build new? Time to do upgrades?

The costs for updating the existing building range from $90 million to $110 million. The costs to build a new building are projected to range from $118 million to $150 million. The athletic fields impacted during the construction period will be moved to township parks and the stadium field. The projected duration of the projects range from 36 months to 60 months. See slide 1.37 from the Town Hall Meeting 1 presentation for the schedule.

DEMOGRAPHY

School board comments compiled from going door-to-door for candidates. Why would less students and more space translate into multi-million dollar renovations for the buildings of a new school? Why can't they reconfigure the middle school building?

The current high school has capacity for a larger number of students than projected by the demography study and anticipated enrollment. The new building is projected to be smaller than the existing buildings by approximately 60,000 to 70,000 square feet. The middle school building will continue to be used for existing 6th through 8th grade students


When the real estate taxes rise, how are you going to handle the mass exodus of senior citizens and the influx of young families with children?

The demography study that was prepared for the district helps the district manage enrollment growth and forecast the space requirements for future years.

DESIGN / PLANNING

To clarify… the 4 models and their footprints have no design yet and the layout of the classrooms and facilities have not been determined?

That is correct.


Is there going to be an in-ground swimming pool in the new proposed Springfield High School?

There is no indoor pool in the conceptual project budget included in the proposed costs. It is expected that the team will continue to use the facilities owned by the YMCA.


If Tom McGarrigle wins the election, what is the likelihood that the projected expenses can be offset by other funds? Why wait until 2017 or later? Location of buses?

State legislation has supported capital projects undertaken by school districts through the PlanCon process. State funding was allocated again this past year and district projects were approved for state funding. The senate and house can support the PlanCon process in future budgets which in turn will reimburse a percentage of the costs for the district. For more information about PlanCon, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The location of the bus yard will be moved to another location as part of the master plan implementation.


Costs to do all needed updates to current building vs. new building? Athletic field while new site is being built? Where will athletics take place in the meantime? Time to build new? Time to do upgrades?

The costs for updating the existing building range from $90 million to $110 million. The costs to build a new building are projected to range from $118 million to $150 million. The athletic fields impacted during the construction period will be moved to township parks and the stadium field. The projected duration of the projects range from 36 months to 60 months. See slide 1.37 from the Town Hall Meeting 1 presentation for the schedule.


What is going to happen to South Rolling Road? Will it be closed?

The status of Rolling Road has not been evaluated at this time.


Is there a plan to purchase the St. Francis property as part of the plan for future expansion?

No. There are no current discussions regarding the use of St. Francis's campus.


SCENARIOS - MAINTAIN / RENOVATE / NEW CONSTRUCTION

Why can't we hold the line? Maintain existing building - Yes! Yes! Yes!

Under either scenario of maintaining the existing building or building a new high school will require the district to issue new debt to fund the capital project. The additional debt issued over the existing debt service will require additional budget dollars and some tax increase to fund either project.


Costs to do all needed updates to current building vs. new building? Athletic field while new site is being built? Where will athletics take place in the meantime? Time to build new? Time to do upgrades?

The costs for updating the existing building range from $90 million to $110 million. The costs to build a new building are projected to range from $118 million to $150 million. The athletic fields impacted during the construction period will be moved to township parks and the stadium field. The projected duration of the projects range from 36 months to 60 months. See slide 1.37 from the Town Hall Meeting 1 presentation for the schedule.

VOTE / ACT 1

Will there be a ballot question after meetings or will the "collective decision" be from the board?

The Act 1 Legislation of 2006 requires a voter referendum if a school district proposes to raise real estate taxes or school taxes in excess of the annual stated Act 1 Index including allowable exceptions. No voter referendum will be required if the district can fund the capital project through the existing operating budget and annual tax increases.


Do we actually get a chance to vote on this? Don't remember this option for the literacy center. Who makes the final decision?

[also asked as:]

Can all of Springfield vote on this? Not a Board vote.

The Act 1 Legislation of 2006 requires a voter referendum if a school district proposes to raise real estate taxes or school taxes in excess of the annual stated Act 1 Index including allowable exceptions. No voter referendum will be required if the district can fund the capital project through the existing operating budget and annual tax increases.

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