Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Facilities Planning Process:
Q: What is the purpose of the Facilities Planning process?
The Facilities Planning process is intended to identify near-term and long-range needs for facility improvements within the Shorewood School District, and to implement a plan to address these needed improvements.
Q: How did we reach this point?
In Feb. 2016, the Shorewood community gathered for a 3-day Visioning Summit to identify the top district priorities over the next decade. “Modernizing & Maintaining Our Historic Facilities” was one of the Top 5 priorities identified. A facilities planning initiative was launched to assess, identify, and implement needed improvements to ensure that Shorewood continues to be a high-performing school district.
Q: Who is leading the Facilities Planning process?
The Shorewood School Board is leading the facilities planning process.
Q: Who else is participating in the Facilities Planning process?
Administrators, teachers & staff, parents, students, and community members, as well as our professional partners, Eppstein Uhen Architects, Miron Construction, and PMA Financial Network.
Q: What are our priorities?
The District seeks to improve our historic buildings by addressing:
- Safety and Security
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance
- Building Systems and Infrastructure
- Academic Classrooms and Support Areas
Q: What is the District doing in the short term to address safety and security?
The District has modified entry policies at the elementary schools and is purchasing securing cameras to install at every school in the District. The District has also collected a list from teachers and staff of capital improvements that will be made during the summer. Also, the District has applied for state grant funding for school safety and security and hopes to use these funds to implement further safety and security improvements.
Q: What much will the facilities improvements cost?
This depends on the final project scope, which has not yet been finalized. A community-wide survey in the Fall will include proposed facilities improvements and costs. Community feedback is important as the Board determines the best plan for improvements to our school facilities.
Q: How have staff and community members been engaged in the process so far?
The District has prioritized gathering input from staff and community members. The following is a summary of the staff and community engagement process:
- From June-September 2016, teachers and staff provided Feedback on the Draft Facilities Assessment in meetings with EUA and the District administrators.
- In April and May 2017, Staff Engagement on Master Planning Options continued in meetings with EUA and district administrators, and furniture trials were conducted at the high school and intermediate school
- In August 2017, District-wide staff participated in a hands-on workshop to review preliminary options and phasing for each building to provide their input on specific building needs. In addition, Elementary School Furniture Trials were held.
- In October 2017, the community was invited to participate in one of three Community Conversations about Facilities Planning to review the facilities study findings, and learn about the potential financial impact of implementing the master plan. Additional input was provided online after residents watched a series of short videos of the presentation shared at the Community Conversations.
- In June 2018, the Board engaged staff in a workshop to gather additional input and feedback from staff on potential facilities solutions.
- In June 2018, the District invited community members to participate in an informational meeting to establish a Facilities Advisory Community Team (FACT).
Q: How will the District continue to engage the community and collect feedback?
The District has assembled a Facilities Advisory Community Team (FACT). This group of community volunteers will review preliminary potential solutions and cost estimates and provide valuable, responsive feedback to the School Board about facilities projects that are most appropriate from the community’s perspective.
In addition to the formation of the FACT group, the District will distribute a community-wide survey in early Fall 2018 to collect community feedback regarding potential facilities improvements.
Q: What are the next steps in the Facilities Planning process?
- Continued Discussions with the FACT Group
- Community-Wide Survey in Early Fall 2018
- Finalization of Project Scope - Late Fall 2018
- Board Decision on Referendum - January 2019
- Potential Community Vote - April 2, 2019
Q: What were the previous referenda impacting public education in Shorewood?
The following referenda were passed, resulting in District-issued referendum debt for the following purposes since 1992:
- 1992 - $8.6 million dollars for maintenance, additions to Atwater Elementary School, Lake Bluff Elementary School, Shorewood Intermediate School, and District-wide roof replacement
- 2002 - $5.2 million dollars for the Shorewood High School science addition and equipment/furnishings
- 2008 - $9.65 million dollars for maintenance, renovation of the Shorewood High School library, Physical Education building, and technology upgrades
- 2011 - $13.645 million dollars for funding prior year pension liabilities and other post retirement benefits
Facilities Maintenance Budget:
Q: What is the difference between ongoing maintenance vs. capital maintenance?
Ongoing maintenance refers to regular maintenance that keeps assets in original, or as close to original, condition as possible. These ongoing maintenance costs typically fall under $5,000 per project. These are usually classified as “repairs.”
Example: Fixing a bathroom fixture
Capital maintenance refers to maintenance projects that are intended to increase the value of our assets. These capital maintenance costs typically exceed $5,000 in project costs. These are usually classified as “improvements.”
Example: Installing a new roof
Q: What is the District's current annual maintenance budget?
Annually, the District budgets $160,000 for building maintenance and repairs. The District allots half of that cost, $80,000, to address repair needs in the summer. The remaining half is used as the base maintenance budget over the course of the school year.
This was explained in detail in the December 12, 2017 regular board meeting. A full report of the maintenance budget is available on Board Books under the December 12, 2017 meeting.
Q: How can the District increase its annual maintenance budget?
Option A. Increase our revenue limit through referendum to create more revenue for maintenance
Option B. Cut other expenses (programming and/or staffing)
Option C. Direct additional revenue to maintenance instead of programming and/or staffing