Town Hall 4

On January 14, 2015, the Facilities Committee and the Board of School Directors held the fourth Town Hall Meeting - "Academic & Community Matters" - 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 4: Academic & Community Matters on SETV

Watch Town Hall Meeting 4: Q&A on SETV

View the presentation .pdf for Town Hall Meeting 4: Academic & Community Matters

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

Did the Committee say our taxes will be raised "now" $27-45?? If so why now?

Discussion concerning tax increases will be addressed in greater detail in Town Hall Meeting 5. The original tax estimate provided in Town Hall Meeting 1 included a projection of a $250 to $425 tax increase that would be phased in over 9 years. The lower amount which was approximately $27 to $47 was the projected annual tax increase for the high school master plan that represents the annual increase in taxes which totals the $250 to $425 after 9 years of phasing in the smaller annual increases.


From reading the recent financial report I read that for 2014-2015 retirement expense (net cash outlay) increased by $675,000 over the prior year. Since this facility decision inter relates [sic] with generating revenues for standard operating costs and a possible unfunded pension liability concern, can the board at the 2-14-2015 meeting address "unfunded liability" pension/benefits concerns and expectation of future cost increases from pension/benefits expenses, included would also be how these increases will be met by the board.

The board has been planning for the increases in the pension liability over the last 5 years. The District pension contribution has been increasing each year and the District has established a pension reserve in the fund balance. Starting in 2014-15, the District has begun to use the reserve to offset the annual increase in the District pension contribution. The District will continue to use the reserve to "smooth in” future increases up through 2018-19 when the District pension contribution rate is projected to reach its maximum.


Moving the football field - lighting, noise, etc. will highly impact Wyndmoor Rd, what are your plans for that? Will taxes be going up to account for the upkeep/problems w/ ETR, SLC, Sabold, Senic [sic] or is that accounted for?

The Facilities Committee will continue to study the community impacts and review the traffic circulation related to Wyndmoor Road. Scenic, Sabold, and ETR have had new roofs, new windows, heating systems installed within the last 8-12 years, and are generally in good condition. Those buildings do not have the same accessibility issues, environmental roof deck issues, size issues and circulation issues. District capital asset review is an on-going process on which the Facilities Committee and consultants review on a regular basis. The District budgets for capital asset projects annually and uses capital reserves and remaining bond proceeds to fund future capital asset projects.


My son plays H/S Football for Springfield. What is the plan where these kids are going to play during the construction of new fields. Are these kids going to have a home field during his remaining 3 yrs of H/S? Will this be a union job! And will there be pentalities [sic] for any "late date" if construction is not done on time!

The stadium field will be addressed early on in the proposed scenarios and will allow for continued use and if artificial turf is installed will allow for greater use by more teams and practice sessions. State and PDE construction rules require projects obtain public bids that will be bid under current prevailing wage requirements. The District has used liquidated damage provisions on past projects and they will be discussed prior to bidding master plan work.


What will the project be over the original budget estimate. Cause the budget always goes over. Will this be a union run job and construction.

State and PDE construction rules require projects obtain public bids that will be bid under current prevailing wage requirements. The District has used liquidated damage provisions in past projects and they will be discussed prior to bidding master plan work.


$36 million for a new school - what would it cost for all renovations that would need to be completed? Sabold / Scenic / ETR were all renovated - why can't that work with the High School? Where on Saxer Ave/Rolling Road would the new school be located? There's homes [sic], church, A PARK... trees... the trolley... What is the need for more athletic fields? Just because of fall / spring with multiple sports going on - tennis courts remaining in the same spot? Especially as this is a smaller school! AND, we just completed a new football field with lights! Now we have to maybe reverse the plan?! I graduated from Springfield in 2005, went through the whole District, loved it. Do note that I was in marching band / colorguard, 2001-05, and ALL our night games had to be away due to not having lights. NOW we have them, a concession stand... NOW maybe we'll flip the entire plot of land? That's nuts!

The costs for updating / renovating 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 proposal you referenced has been called "New Saxer" as it would move the high school building to the west side of campus towards Saxer Avenue, and would be located on the existing baseball and field hockey fields. For a detailed explanation of the proposals, including the one referred to as "New Saxer," please see the presentation from Town Hall Meeting 1. A mock-up can be seen on slide 34 and slide 35. All plans are conceptual and in their infancy, however, and no building designs have been developed, as the High School Master Plan is in the discussion phase. Under all scenarios except for the Maintain project, the green space and athletic fields on the campus is expanded. The District currently maximizes it use of athletic fields and is limited on sufficient practice space for all high school and middle school teams. The tennis courts at the high school are not projected to be relocated at this time.


For the financial meeting, I'd like to see information on how much $ other Districts have spent recently on new high schools. Thanks for the info on # of years each building is expected to last. Are there any big-ticket projects on the horizon that we need to consider? I'm thinking air conditioning at Scenic Hills and the electrical support needed for it. I recognize that new buildings haven't been designed, but surely there are expectations. Is SSD considering a pool, state-of-the-art theatre, high-tech science equipment etc.? How are such decisions made?

Scenic, Sabold, and ETR have had new roofs, new windows, heating systems installed within the last 8-12 years, and are generally in good condition. The addition of air conditioning at the elementary schools was reviewed and it was determined not to pursue this addition at this time. The new high school building design will consider various technologies and classroom designs that will support the educational program. All existing cost projections do not include the addition of a natatorium. District capital asset review is an on-going process on which the Facilities Committee and consultants review on a regular basis. The District uses capital reserves and remaining bond proceeds to fund future capital asset projects.


Traffic patterns? ?one ways Parking? Closing of St. Francis? Estimated tax increases over 3 years? Are other Springfield Schools going to need renovations? ?taxes again.

For a consideration of the traffic, parking, schedule and phasing impacts of each scenario, please review the information presented in Town Hall Meeting 3, available on the SHS Master Plan site. The St. Francis campus is not considered in any of the four proposed scenarios. The projected tax increase presented in Town Hall Meeting 1 included a range of $250 for the maintain scenario to $425 for the New Leamy Avenue scenario phased in over 9 years. The annual increases in taxes will be $27 to $47 per year for the proposed master plan which will total the $250 to $425 total increase at the end of 9 years. These increases are projected on the median assessed value of $146,050 and will be phased in over a period of 9 years. A closer look at Costs and Financing will take place at Town Hall Meeting 5 on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. Scenic, Sabold, and ETR have had new roofs, new windows, heating systems installed within the last 8-12 years, and are generally in good condition. District capital asset review is an on-going process on which the Facilities Committee and consultants review on a regular basis. The District uses capital reserves and remaining bond proceeds to fund future capital asset projects.

CURRENT FACILITY

Why isn't the TV schedule publicized in local papers or e-mailed to residents on meetings. Where are administrative offices going and at what cost? Where are buses going to be parked and what is cost? Why isn't gym a regulation gym? Didn't know that there is a stormwater problem? Only way we can come to find solution is to have a voter referendum on final proposal. In informing public what are [sic] TV schedules publicized. In renovating there is not a schedule? Even though a referendum is not required why can't it be done?

On the District website, you will find the schedule for Springfield Educational Television (SETV). The Master Plan is in the conceptual phase and specific building plans have not been developed for any of the four proposals, as the Facilities Committee and the Board of School Directors are in the discussion phase of planning, so the location of the administrative offices and bus lot have not yet been determined. However, the costs of their relocation have been included in the financial analyses of each scenario. The main gym was built in 1953 and at that time the size it was built met the needs of the District. The current basketball floor is not a regulation floor size for varsity athletics. The goal is to correct the gym size if the budget permits the change. The storm water management issue is a current building code requirement. Building codes change over time and current codes will require the project to meet current storm water management codes. A voter referendum is required if the master plan project cannot be financed under the current Act 1 Legislation requirements for allowable annual tax millage increases. The District has projected future financing requirements to fund the various proposed Master Plan scenarios and the anticipated millage increases will fall within the projected Act 1 Index legislation requirements.

Demography

What happens if Cardinal O'Hara closes?

First, there have been no discussions from the Archdiocese concerning the status of Cardinal O'Hara. Springfield resident students only represent a percentage of the total enrollment. The District has updated its demography study in 2014 and the demographer projects future District enrollment analyzing many community factors. Part of the proposed Master Plan is to consider expansion alternatives should unexpected changes in enrollment growth occur.


"smaller footprint" - it's my understanding that the new school will be smaller because there are less students than in years past. What will happen if the number of students increases? Will additions need to be added. What studies have been done as far as estimating the class sizes in the future? I was born here and lived here all my life and I lived thru [sic] this. I was a student when Sabold was built and we had 1/2 day sessions at Central until Sabold was built. I've seen Oakdale and Central School torn down and then because of increased enrollment, the ETR was built and most recently, the Literacy Center. As far as "daylighting" in the new school, Sabold had long windows in all the classrooms and then in the 90's the windows were painted so the sunlight coming into the classrooms was greatly reduced.

The District has had its demography study updated in 2014 and the study accounts for local and regional changes in student enrollment trends. The study can be viewed on the SHS Master Plan site: Demography Study, Herbert L. Smith. Part of the proposed master planning will include studying different expansion alternatives for the high school in case unexpected increases in enrollment occur. The "right sizing" discussion in Meeting 2 reviewed the projected square footage to meet 80% to 85% of the projected enrollment at the projected opening of the building and to allow for the other 15% to 20% through expansion planning.


ETR and SLC schools are running out of classroom space. Smaller footprint won' be able to accommodate incoming students. How will this impact students in future? Rumor is trailers will be used to offset - concerned this will happen with this school as well.

The current kindergarten class at the SLC is back down to the average class size experienced during the last 7 years and the current 1st grade class size is 12 less than projected. At ETR, the District is planning for the wave of larger elementary classes. A new classroom was created last year and plans are being developed to accommodate the temporary wave of larger class sizes. The District has commissioned a demography study, and had it recently updated. The study accounts for local and regional changes in student enrollment trends. The study can be viewed on the SHS Master Plan site: Demography Study, Herbert L. Smith. The master plan process discussed the size of the building in meeting 2 and part of the plan will include different expansion alternatives if unexpected increases in enrollment occur.

DESIGN / PLANNING

I have lived in Springfield for 26 years. All your schemes seem to benefit somehow, easyer [sic] entrance and exit to newer facility. I live 2 blocks from Sabold Elementary School. I have a great idea. Why don’t people engineer Sabold so people don’t congest Thompson Ave every morning and afternoon creating not only a trafic [sic] hazzard [sic] but a safety hazzard [sic].

Part of the challenge of the Master Plan planning was to bring the high school into compliance with current township ordinances for parking and impervious land coverage. The District understands the frustration with Sabold traffic during drop-off and pickup. We have worked with the local police to try and manage this as efficiently as possible. The District will continue to review all alternatives to improve the process.


My son plays H/S Football for Springfield. What is the plan where these kids are going to play during the construction of new fields. Are these kids going to have a home field during his remaining 3 yrs of H/S? Will this be a union job! And will there be pentalities [sic] for any "late date" if construction is not done on time!

The stadium field will be addressed early on in the proposed scenarios and will allow for continued use and if artificial turf is installed will allow for greater use by more teams and practice sessions. State and PDE construction rules require projects obtain public bids that will be bid under current prevailing wage requirements. The District has used liquidated damage provisions on past projects and they will be discussed prior to bidding master plan work.


Moving the football field - lighting, noise, etc. will highly impact Wyndmoor Rd, what are your plans for that? Will taxes be going up to account for the upkeep/problems w/ ETR, SLC, Sabold, Senic [sic] or is that accounted for?

The facilities committee will continue to study the community impacts and review the traffic circulation related to Wyndmoor Road. Scenic, Sabold, and ETR have had new roofs, new windows, heating systems installed within the last 8-12 years, and are generally in good condition. Those buildings do not have the same accessibility issues, environmental roof deck issues, size issues and circulation issues. District capital asset review is an on-going process on which the Facilities Committee and consultants review on a regular basis. The District budgets for capital asset projects annually and uses capital reserves and remaining bond proceeds to fund future capital asset projects.


Why isn't the TV schedule publicized in local papers or e-mailed to residents on meetings. Where are administrative offices going and at what cost? Where are buses going to be parked and what is cost? Why isn't gym a regulation gym? Didn't know that there is a stormwater problem? Only way we can come to find solution is to have a voter referendum on final proposal. In informing public what are [sic] TV schedules publicized. In renovating there is not a schedule? Even though a referendum is not required why can't it be done?

On the District website, you will find the schedule for Springfield Educational Television (SETV). The Master Plan is in the conceptual phase and specific building plans have not been developed for any of the four proposals, as the Facilities Committee and the Board of School Directors are in the discussion phase of planning, so the location of the administrative offices and bus lot have not yet been determined. However, the costs of their relocation have been included in the financial analyses of each scenario. The main gym was built in 1953 and at that time the size it was built met the needs of the District. The current basketball floor is not a regulation floor size for varsity athletics. The goal is to correct the gym size if the budget permits the change. The storm water management issue is a current building code requirement. Building codes change over time and current codes will require the project to meet current storm water management codes. A voter referendum is required if the master plan project cannot be financed under the current Act 1 Legislation requirements for allowable annual tax millage increases. The District has projected future financing requirements to fund the various proposed Master Plan scenarios and the anticipated millage increases will fall within the projected Act 1 Index legislation requirements.


$36 million for a new school - what would it cost for all renovations that would need to be completed? Sabold / Scenic / ETR were all renovated - why can't that work with the High School? Where on Saxer Ave/Rolling Road would the new school be located? There's homes [sic], church, A PARK... trees... the trolley... What is the need for more athletic fields? Just because of fall / spring with multiple sports going on - tennis courts remaining in the same spot? Especially as this is a smaller school! AND, we just completed a new football field with lights! Now we have to maybe reverse the plan?! I graduated from Springfield in 2005, went through the whole District, loved it. Do note that I was in marching band / colorguard, 2001-05, and ALL our night games had to be away due to not having lights. NOW we have them, a concession stand... NOW maybe we'll flip the entire plot ofland? That's nuts!

The costs for updating / renovating 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 proposal you referenced has been called "New Saxer" as it would move the high school building to the west side of campus towards Saxer Avenue, and would be located on the existing baseball and field hockey fields. For a detailed explanation of the proposals, including the one referred to as "New Saxer," please see the presentation from Town Hall Meeting 1. A mock-up can be seen on slide 34 and slide 35. All plans are conceptual and in their infancy, however, and no building designs have been developed, as the High School Master Plan is in the discussion phase. Under all scenarios except for the Maintain project, the green space and athletic fields on the campus is expanded. The District currently maximizes it use of athletic fields and is limited on sufficient practice space for all high school and middle school teams. The tennis courts at the high school are not projected to be relocated at this time.


ETR and SLC schools are running out of classroom space. Smaller footprint won't be able to accommodate incoming students. How will this impact students in future? Rumor is trailers will be used to offset - concerned this will happen with this school as well.

The current kindergarten class at the SLC is back down to the average class size experienced during the last 7 years and the current 1st grade class size is 12 less than projected. At ETR, the District is planning for the wave of larger elementary classes. A new classroom was created last year and plans are being developed to accommodate the temporary wave of larger class sizes. The District has commissioned a demography study, and had it recently updated. The study accounts for local and regional changes in student enrollment trends. The study can be viewed on the SHS Master Plan site: Demography Study, Herbert L. Smith. The master plan process discussed the size of the building in meeting 2 and part of the plan will include different expansion alternatives if unexpected increases in enrollment occur.


For the financial meeting, I'd like to see information on how much $ other Districts have spent recently on new high schools. Thanks for the info on # of years each building is expected to last. Are there any big-ticket projects on the horizon that we need to consider? I'm thinking air conditioning at Scenic Hills and the electrical support needed for it. I recognize that new buildings haven't been designed, but surely there are expectations. Is SSD considering a pool, state-of-the-art theatre, high-tech science equipment etc.? How are such decisions made?

Scenic, Sabold, and ETR have had new roofs, new windows, heating systems installed within the last 8-12 years, and are generally in good condition. The addition of air conditioning at the elementary schools was reviewed and it was determined not to pursue this addition at this time. The new high school building design will consider various technologies and classroom designs that will support the educational program. All existing cost projections do not include the addition of a natatorium. District capital asset review is an on-going process on which the Facilities Committee and consultants review on a regular basis. The District uses capital reserves and remaining bond proceeds to fund future capital asset projects.

SCENARIOS - MAINTAIN / RENOVATE / NEW CONSTRUCTION

Saxer Ave. Scenario: With the larger field space on Leamy Avenue and increased use of these fields, is the proposed parking large enough or if SHS hosts sport events, will there still be issues with parking in the neighborhood around the HS? Where would the buses park? *I support the building of a brand new high school - just concerned about traffic on Leamy Ave.

Parking has been studied for each scenario throughout the planning process; for more detail, please see slide 3.30 from the Town Hall Meeting 3 presentation. Under all proposed scenarios except for Maintain, on-site parking is increased and will help support parking needs for athletics and larger school events. Building design plans have not been developed for any of the four proposals, as the Facilities Committee and the Board of School Directors are in the conceptual discussion phase of planning, so the location of the bus lot has not yet been determined. The transportation contractor is aware of the District's intention to move the storage facility off campus and is planning to locate alternate locations.


Traffic patterns? ?one ways Parking? Closing of St. Francis? Estimated tax increases over 3 years? Are other Springfield Schools going to need renovations? ?taxes again.

For a consideration of the traffic, parking, schedule and phasing impacts of each scenario, please review the information presented in Town Hall Meeting 3, available on the SHS Master Plan site. The St. Francis campus is not considered in any of the four proposed scenarios. The projected tax increase presented in Town Hall Meeting 1 included a range of $250 for the maintain scenario to $425 for the New Leamy Avenue scenario phased in over 9 years. The annual increases in taxes will be $27 to $47 per year for the proposed master plan which will total the $250 to $425 total increase at the end of 9 years. These increases are projected on the median assessed value of $146,050 and will be phased in over a period of 9 years. A closer look at Costs and Financing will take place at Town Hall Meeting 5 on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. Scenic, Sabold, and ETR have had new roofs, new windows, heating systems installed within the last 8-12 years, and are generally in good condition. District capital asset review is an on-going process on which the Facilities Committee and consultants review on a regular basis. The District uses capital reserves and remaining bond proceeds to fund future capital asset projects.

VOTE / ACT 1

Why isn't the TV schedule publicized in local papers or e-mailed to residents on meetings. Where are administrative offices going and at what cost? Where are buses going to be parked and what is cost? Why isn't gym a regulation gym? Didn't know that there is a stormwater problem? Only way we can come to find solution is to have a voter referendum on final proposal. In informing public what are [sic] TV schedules publicized. In renovating there is not a schedule? Even though a referendum is not required why can't it be done?

On the District website, you will find the schedule for Springfield Educational Television (SETV). The Master Plan is in the conceptual phase and specific building plans have not been developed for any of the four proposals, as the Facilities Committee and the Board of School Directors are in the discussion phase of planning, so the location of the administrative offices and bus lot have not yet been determined. However, the costs of their relocation have been included in the financial analyses of each scenario. The main gym was built in 1953 and at that time the size it was built met the needs of the District. The current basketball floor is not a regulation floor size for varsity athletics. the goal is to correct the gym size if the budget permits the change. The storm water management issue is a current building code requirement. Building codes change over time and current codes will require the project to meet current storm water management codes. A voter referendum is required if the master plan project cannot be financed under the current Act 1 Legislation requirements for allowable annual tax millage increases. The District has projected future financing requirements to fund the various proposed Master Plan scenarios and the anticipated millage increases will fall within the projected Act 1 Index legislation requirements.

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