Friday, January 24, 2014

Starting to take shape

By Tim Seymore
Assistant Superintendent/Chief Financial Officer

Since December, a group of dedicated and thoughtful community members and parents, along with school board members and school personnel, have been working on a plan to address issues identified by a Facility Needs Assessment and Demographic Study.

The facilities study, conducted by the Texas Association of School Boards, identified over 130 areas of concern, including safety and security issues, infrastructure problems at the high school, aging and inefficient mechanical systems, deficiencies based on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Texas Education Agency Standards, as well as the changing needs of education in the 21st century.  Templeton Demographics conducted a demographic study, giving the district impending growth rates over the next ten years. This data shows that Navasota Junior High School and High Point Elementary School will be over capacity in the next two to three years, followed shortly, by Navasota High School. Although John C. Webb Elementary School currently has enough classroom spaces, the parking, parent drop-off areas, and cafeteria are not adequate to accommodate the current number of students, parents, and employees.  

The challenge for the Facility Planning Advisory Committee is to develop a plan that addresses these concerns in the way that is most efficient for the district in the short term, but also ensures that the needs of the district’s students are met for many years to come. After several meetings to determine a priority list, the SHW Group presented options to the committee that address these needs. As is always the case when scenarios are presented, much discussion about the benefits of each scenario took place. Notes taken from those discussions will be used to refine the options and add more detail and clarification. As new people have joined in the process, additional thoughts and ideas are being taken into consideration. Information presented to the Facility Planning Advisory Committee, including the options presented Jan. 23, can be viewed here.

The Facility Planning Advisory Committee will reconvene on Feb. 3, at 6 p.m., in the Board Room at the Administration Building, with the intention of having a proposal for the school board to consider at their February board meeting. The school board and administration would like to thank those that have participated in this process to develop a community-driven plan of action.

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