Final Plan

The Board of School Trustees is considering what the projects will be in the Final Plan that will be included in the Referendum for registered voters within the boundaries of East Allen County Schools to approve or disapprove.  The website will be update as that final plan is determined and approved by the Board of School Trustees.

Provided below are responses to questions that were asked:

Concerns about over inflating the number.  If everything can be done at a lower number, that should be what’s given to us.
The total cost for the voters to approve in the Referendum will be the best estimate of what the costs will be for the projects that are listed in the Referendum.  If the Referendum is approved, EACS does not want to underestimate the costs and then not do all of the projects that the voters approved. 

Clarification (more info) on what the actual proposal is.  Bond issue & potential renovation for entire district (how much)?
All of this information will be provided when the final decision on the referendum is determined.

What is the budget?
The final amount has not yet be determined by the Board of School Trustees.

What are the details of the plan?
The final plan has not yet been determined.

What is the breakdown of $ to the different attendance areas?
The final plan will list what the estimated costs are for the identified projects that are included in the Referendum.

Why is Paul Harding Junior High not addressed at all?
The final plan will list all of the projects that are to occur at the various buildings.  The plan is to address the needs throughout the entire district.

Of the total package, is the money being divided semi-equally?
The projects will be based on the unique needs for each part of the district.

How much is the actual amount being spent for each area in this referendum.  Hard factual numbers.
The final plan will list the projects and the estimated costs.

$74 million is a lot of money but is it enough?  What’s the cap?
The final plan for the district will determine the total cost.  There is not necessarily a cap.  The final will be based on the needs of the district.

930 buildings will be removed.  Can PHLC be torn down and the NHMS be remolded & add on to the area?  Only adding on to a new section w/flat roofs on current NHMS.
Renovations/additions or new construction for the New Haven Intermediate School will be based what is the best long term value for the district. 

At Southwick Elementary, more classrooms (P-2) are needed along with thesafety.  Why only 4 classrooms?  Doesn’t really address growth…. We are using library for 5 offices, computer lab, 4 paras, Special Ed section, RtI, library, storage?  No teacher lounge or staff room.  No storage – supplies in hallways, boys & girls locker room, on stage, in stairwells, etc.
The renovations and addition at Southwick are currently part of the plan. 

Is a new building considered for Southwick Elementary?
A replacement of Southwick Elementary is not currently being considered.

How much of the $74 million project will be allocated to the Harding attendance area?
The final project will be based on the needs throughout the district, not just an allocation of funds to each attendance area.

Will the $74 million result in savings?  In the long run.
The final plan is to address the long term needs of the district.  The electrical and mechanical systems will be more efficient than the current ones.  Building consolidations in the past have all resulted in operational cost reductions.

If everything passes – what is timeline/stages?
If a referendum was approved in May 2016, it would take the architectural firms at least six months to prepare and finalize the detailed bid documents for the major construction/renovation projects.   The plan would be to do the projects as soon as possible and some projects could be done earlier, but they would have to be done to minimize educational conflicts within the individual schools.

How much are we going to add on for 7-12?  Where?
If the final decision is to make New Haven High into a 7-12 building, the additions would probably be to the east, north, and west of the building.

Why do they want to tear down NHMS?  Why can’t they reconstruct. (model)?
The architects will consider this when the plans are developed for the New Haven Intermediate School and options are be given to the Board of School Trustees to consider. 

Could they add a cost to each proposal improvement?
The final plan will list the estimated costs.

Will the cost to run a new building be cheaper than running Park Hill or NHMS? Any info on utility costs of running new school v sols schools?  Efficiency, savings in maintenance cost?  
A new building would have more efficient systems that Park Hill and New Haven Middle School.  Newer air handlers are more energy efficient.

Elephant in room – How much is being spent on each project.  Any way to break down the spending.  What has been at other schools in the district?  Are we able to “catch up” with other schools?  As plan is finalized, what process will be used to decide what would stay, what would go if full funding doesn’t occur?
The Board of School Trustees will determine what the final project listing consists of.

Is this an effort to give Woodlan/Heritage more?
No, the plan is to address the needs throughout the district.

The traffic flow going in/out of NHHS.  It’s horrible.  Scared to turn left.
The project at New Haven High School would attempt to improve the traffic flow in and out of the school.

Would new HVAC provide AC in gym for NHHS?
The plan currently does not include air conditioning for high schools, based on the cost.

How do you expect to vote on a $74 million project without knowing actual amount?
The final plan will list all of the projects that are part of the Referendum.

Why does it cost so much more for the renovations at New Haven HS than the other attendance areas?
New Haven High School has not been renovated since it was opened, other buildings in the district have been renovated.

What about the Harding attendance area?  Are they separate from New Haven or is the $74 million included in their needs as well?
The needs of the entire district will be considered for the Referendum. 

Why are you tearing down Parkhill?
If the final plan includes the construction of the new New Haven Intermediate School, the location would be where Park Hill and New Haven Middle are currently located.

What is the price of remodeling Parkhill/NHMS/64 existing facility vs. building from scratch?
The current estimate is that new would cost about the same as renovations.

I don’t like seeing etcetera.
The final plan will not include etc.

Will existing issues @ NHHS like locker & restroom be addressed?  Let’s get this done correctly.
A renovation at a building will include an update of the locker and restrooms.

What is the time frame from start to finish?  NHHS-NHMS-NHIS?
This type of project would take at least from approval of the Referendum to completion of at least three years.

If we are going to do this much money, heritage was just redone and Woodlan and they are getting more. Why not get more money and let administration and community to decide what to use the money for?  
The Referendum that voters need to approve, must be specific on what the projects are and the estimated costs.

Will there be a finalized "this is what we are doing" list for us to vote on?
Yes, the Referendum would list the maximum cost, maximum tax rate, and the buildings that are affected.

What's the "word on the street" from families without kids in the schools?  What kind of marketing we will have to do to bring these people on the side of voting for. 
EACS will communicate what is in the Referendum so voters can make an informed decision at the ballot box.

Will distribution of funds reflect growth & quickness of growth?  Do current needs address potential growth?
We believe that the “Final Plan” will address the needs of the district.

If tear down PHLC & NHMS – now 2 city blocks – will new NHIS take up 2 blocks.  Extra room – is there a plan?
The site plan will attempt to address the needs of both the elementary school and secondary school.

Would there be a firm plan before referendum or will it be able to change – know the numbers before the referendum?
The Referendum will include the firm estimates and it will not change if the Referendum is approved.

Would safety concerns be completed by the next school year/addressed first?
The secure entrances would be a priority to address as soon as possible.

How are you going to address the on campus drop off at Leo elementary and LEHS?
The drop-off at the elementary and junior-senior high will continue to be addressed where possible to make improvements.

Why are we limiting the amount to $74 million?  Why not $100 million to do everything so down the road there are no additional needs.
The final plan has not yet been determined.

Is there a way to do this more for the Leo attendance area than the whole district?
The plan is to address the needs of the entire district, not just one attendance area.

Asking too much to correct too many issues.  Need to deal with the issues that are pertinent.
The plan is to address the needs of the district.

Will the bids be let for each project or will there be one large bid for the several projects?
The plan would be to bid the projects in the most efficient and effective manner so the end result is that EACS gets the most project for the best value. 

Does the board have a feeling of an additional building - project for Leo area to support the additional growth in the Leo area?  Will you be asking for more $?
The plan will be based on the needs of the entire district.  The latest demographic study does not predict major growth for the Leo attendance area.

Is 4 classrooms enough for now @ CEEL?  Shouldn’t we project out 10-20 years as we look at growth this direction?
The plan is to address the needs of the district based on the current enrollment projection that have been done for EACS.

What can be addressed about LEEL classrooms?  Conversation has been about gym & cafeteria.  Is it time to talk about a middle school?
The latest demographic study does not predict major growth for the Leo attendance area.

What can we do about drop offs & pickups on Hosler for Leo El?  Cedarville Town Council has made several suggestions for new roads.  Building project should include something in this area because safety is so important.  
The preliminary project plan addressed the drop-off concern at Leo Elementary.,

Leo El is landlocked.  What about possibility of purchasing new land either for facility, transportation or for such things as expanding gym?
EACS owns 80 acres of undeveloped land at the corner of Halter and Hosler to address long term growth in the northwest part of the district.  

Will the architecture firms be providing any preliminary designs before election?
EACS is not planning to spend money on the architects to develop extensive designs, because if the Referendum fails the expenditure would be wasted.

What is the cost of razing the buildings in New Haven?
The costs would be included in the final plan.

Is there a breakdown of how much is going to be spent on each of these projects?
The final plan will list the costs.

Why do we have two architectural firms? 
The intent is to utilize local firms that can concentrate fully on each of the specific projects.

Can this referendum be reduced to include only the super necessary items such as security and NHH – HVAC?  Many other building items can be left out!
The final plan is to address the needs on the entire district at one time.

What is the cost of building a new HS to serve the New Haven/Harding area?  Make NHHS and PHJH two junior highs/middle schools.
Estimates for a completely new High School have always exceeded the renovations and additions at New Haven High School.

Is everything on the list set in stone?
The final plan is still to be determine by the Board of School Trustees.

How are we going to prioritize where the money is going?
The Board of School Trustees will approve the final plan.

Has the board validated all of these items as a true need?  
The Board of School Trustees will approve the final plan for the district.

Some of the projects could be taken care of internally by building trades students as projects which meet the needs (student education and building needs).  I.E.  Woodlan greenhouse, Heritage press box.
East Allen County Schools will utilize the most cost effective manner to construct buildings that meet all of the local and state building codes.

Parochial schools and Amish schools don’t need this large amount of rebuilding and do to the maintenance themselves.
Very little of the preliminary plan includes maintenance type projects.  This plan is to cover the entire needs of the district. 

After renovations will all buildings meet ADA codes?
As renovations occur, the buildings meet the latest building codes.

Currently, we have two buildings (NHI and NHEL) that are designed for elementary age children.  I believe the plans would infer:  Major renovations to these buildings to make them workable for adult populations (Administration @ NHEL and Career Center @ NHI); Tearing down NHMS to build a new elementary building.
School districts throughout the state have moved their administrative offices into vacant schools for far less that what it would cost to construction an office building to house the administrative functions in one location.  The plan is to also centrally local school buildings into a campus setting.     

Would it be more cost effective to add the necessary 6th grade classrooms to the existing NHI building since it is designed for elementary age children, handicapped accessible, already has a playground, use the current NHMS building that is designed for an adult population, for Administration, IREACH, and the Alternative School and build a Career Center with appropriate space, ventilation, etc. required to each the trades?
The final plan will provide the most cost effective method to address the needs of the intermediate school, consolidated administration office, alternative school, and career and technical center.

When will this updated plan be shared?
The final plan will be made available as soon as the decision is reached by the Board of School Trustees

How will non-internet interested parties have the opportunity to see information about the plan?
Information about the final plan will be made available throughout the district in electronic and in printed materials.

Will a document be made available at the administration offices?
Yes, the final plan will be available at the Administration Building.

Would phone inquiries be a possibility?

Deferred repayment schedule, interest multiplies cost. For instance, $14M has been used for HVAC update at NH. Considering the repayment schedule, the cost of repayment will balloon to over $20M.  See June 24, 2014 Board Packet, page 52, EACS Administration presented repayment schedules. Using the same schedule repayment plan for the $74M, repayment will be in excess $125M.
When a school district borrows for construction projects, the district must pay back both principal and interest, which is just like when a homeowner takes a mortgage to pay for a house.   EACS has utilized wrap around payment schedules so the tax impact to property owners is minimized.  
New infrastructure may be required in the Harding District, PRIOR to2032. 
What is chance that voters will approve Harding area referendum, which has to come from a tax increase?  Is Harding getting “cut/”sacrificed” for New Haven extravagance?

The final plan is to address the "needs" of the entire district and not extravagant wants.  The registered voters that live within the boundaries of East Allen County Schools will ultimately make the final decision on whether or not the referendum is approved.

The Study projected a decline in NH student population.
The preliminary plan recognized this and that is one of the reasons for the consolidation of 7th and 8th grade students at New Haven as well as an improvement in course offerings to junior high students.  

In order to equalize building efficiency/occupation, EACS may be bussing students to NH to keep the new facilities near capacity.
Attendance boundaries within East Allen County Schools have been updated in the past to address needs throughout the district.

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