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Thread: Fact-Checking with the Board Veterans

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. Schumacher View Post
    Thank you for responding. You keep repeating this point of “the community survey...said the community supported the idea of FDK, but did not want to pay for it.” Below are the pertinent slides from the 2016 survey; I see more respondents willing to pay than not pay; please point out where this data point proves the community didn’t want it. Thank you in advance.
    To watch the survey presentation at the November 29th board meeting, beginning around the 20-minute mark FDK starts to be discussed:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6sOqRbilKU

    To Summarize:
    Fall of 2016 – Community Survey: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/Publ...px?ik=39736165
    Bill Foster from the survey company, School Perceptions, informed the board that per the survey results the community seemed to support the idea of FDK, but did not want to pay for it. Per Mr. Foster, the non-parents were less likely to support a referendum for the space needed to accommodate FDK and they make up the largest portion of the voting public so they are the most important group to look at to determine if a referendum will get support as they make up 80% of voting public and should carry more weight. He did not recommend going to referendum for FDK. Ultimately, the board settled on an amount to seek via referendum and did not include FDK. If you care to watch the survey presentation at the November 29th board meeting, beginning around the 20-minute mark FDK starts to be discussed:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6sOqRbilKU


    The Board spent a lot of time trying to determine a referendum amount that would be successful. We took what we felt was necessary - portables at Hadley, ADA updates, entrance to Churchill. We did add the music rooms at Hadley after I suggested the fix we were required to make (fix the auditorium walls) would be putting good money into a bad solution. That was a stretch to get the Board to agree to. We had board members on the low end (Buchholz, Bochenski), a board member in the middle (me), and board members on the high end (Nelson, Escalante, DiFabio). We also had community members highly criticizing us for not taking the full referendum amount that we could. In the end, we found common ground in the middle that not everyone was completely happy with, but could agree to. The referendum passed by 11 vote. 11. So if we had added another $16 million that was needed to explore an early childhood center and full-day kindergarten, what to you think would have happened given Mr. Foster's commentary on the survey? Also, we still would have needed an $800K ed referendum for staffing, which is very difficult to pass.

  2. #17
    Forum Regular Bob Solak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. Schumacher View Post
    I reviewed your links and posts, and on the thread you linked, I found the following - which jarred old memories. It isn’t a quote from you, but thought it summarized your participation (as I remembered it): “The Facilities Plans have been talked about for many years now. This is just the latest iteration. Bob Solak led the finance team work for a year with the recommendation to build a new school in order to get rid of portables. The board then held meetings discussing what large parcels of land were available in the disctrict. That led to the discussions with Wheaton College for the possibility of acquiring their college avenue property. After it became clear they were not interested in selling, the board revisited their options which has led to the most recent proposal to add on additions.”
    When I read that old thread I saw this post too (I think it was Dan Smith who wrote it?). He got it partially right. The recommended options were: 1)New pre-K through 5th grade school at Spalding and renovate Hadley and any other elementaries as necessary to remove portables, 2) instead of Spalding, purchase a large parcel of land and do the same thing, 3) purchase a large parcel and build a new 6-8 junior high, then make Hadley a pre-K through 5. My personal feeling at the time was that #1 was the best option and made the most sense for the District. #2 was second most desireable but I wasn't too enthused. And I felt #3 was way too expensive and was a "fix" for a lot of things that weren't broken. Obviously, after I left the Board, they pursued the large parcel idea - I can't recall if they had chosen #2 or #3. Maybe they weren't sure at the time.

    When that (Scripture Press) fell through, they went to building at all locations. I've never understood why they didn't pursue the Spalding option further.

    BTW - FDK was always talked about as if the State was about to mandate it. I heard that for four years. It has never happened. My personal opinion is that it is a nice-to-have. Study results vary as to it's impact, except on at-risk populations. And at the time, we had no facility room for it. I admit to being surprised that when the Lincoln addition plans came out there was no kindergarten rooms added/planned for. It sounded, from Sam Black's old posts, that they didn't include it because there was no Board consensus that we were going that way.
    Last edited by Bob Solak; 03-25-2019 at 07:32 AM.

  3. #18
    Forum Regular Bob Solak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. Schumacher View Post
    Rooting through my dusty attic of memory, I had remembered problems with additions (Lincoln flood plain, limitations due to size of core services that would have made bottlenecks, accessibility problems, etc.) that would have prevented simply building “larger additions” that would have solved all the problems. I remember estimates for multiple stories at Hadley, but especially for Lincoln (my neighborhood school), these were eliminated as impractical, and would have created an inefficient bowling-alley of a building with poor flow that lacked cohesiveness. What I wanted was to tap your memory of the Facilities Task Force (even of the Long-Range Planning Committee), and the site and structural limitations that complicated the adaptation of the existing buildings, and kept additions from being a simple, cost-effective solution.
    In regards to Lincoln, I always felt that if there was going to be significant construction there, then the "right" thing (not necessarily the cheapest thing) to do was knock down the whole West wing and rebuild it as two stories. But make the first story "garden level" - at the same elevation as the central and eastern wings (for those who don't know, you walk up 6 or 7 stairs to get to the western wing from the main office because the ground is higher on the west end of the school than the east). Then you could keep the primary grades on the first floor and put the older kids on the second floor. It would have eliminated that dead area in the middle of the west wing (which at the time was filled with cubicles and such), allowed for the construction of four sections of kindergarten rooms if they wanted, and eliminated all the portables. And all could have been in roughly the original footprint, preserving the green space that is now taken up with the classroom additions that eventually went in.

    Lincoln certainly had floodplain restrictions, especially to the north and east. But they wound up expanding the footprint of the building anyway, so they overcame them.

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. Schumacher View Post
    Thank you for responding. You keep repeating this point of “the community survey...said the community supported the idea of FDK, but did not want to pay for it.” Below are the pertinent slides from the 2016 survey; I see more respondents willing to pay than not pay; please point out where this data point proves the community didn’t want it. Thank you in advance.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This also seems pertinent. Found on a Facebook website. The comments section shows exactly what Clark and Buchholz have been working with in trying to meet the needs of ALL stakeholders. Apologies if it already has been posted here, but 19 pages of comments seem too important to overlook.

    https://www.d41.org/cms/lib/IL019046...mments_FDK.pdf

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