Building for the Future of Our StudentsPosted by Karen Summerville on 4/7/2017 2:00:00 PM
Building for the Future of Our Students
The Measure T Bond Program is on schedule and rapidly moving along. Program teams are currently reviewing all approved budgets to establish project scopes, determining exactly what can be done at each school. Every school building will have modernization standards such as technology infrastructure updates, 21st Century learning space configurations, enhanced safety and security features, general updates (flooring, paint, cabinetry, etc), and necessary ADA upgrades.
Site Councils, groups made up of teachers, staff, administrators and parents, have met at 13 of 16 RCSD school sites to oversee decisions made around the modernization standards. The councils’ varied experience and levels of involvement with our schools make for a well-rounded view of what should be in place for our students. Principals of all 16 schools have been formally introduced to the process and are committed to working hand-in-hand with project staff and families as each project develops.
Want to know more? Three Neighborhood Meetings will take place during the months of April and May- these meetings are designed to engage families and community members in site-specific update sharing and Q&A sessions. RCSD will send information through e-mail, social media, peach jars, fliers, and mailers in the upcoming weeks. We look forward to working collectively with our communities on building the future of our students!
We're in Good HandsPosted by Karen Summerville on 12/9/2016 5:00:00 AM
We’re in Good Hands
Our previous Measure T update included significant steps taken in the planning process for the modernization of Redwood City School District Schools. I’m happy to report that we’ve once again reached significant milestones that convince me, we’re in good hands.
The last few months have focused on assembling the team that will oversee a successful bond program. We have now hired a program management team, architects, and are in the process of bringing on board the environmental experts and engineers needed to implement the planning and design phase.
Meet Our Architects
The Measure T program has gained a phenomenal selection of Architectural and Engineering (A-E) firms that will provide our students the innovative and sustainable school buildings they deserve. These companies are: CSDA Design Group, Cody Anderson Wasney Architects, LPA, Spencer Associates, Gelfand Partners Architects, and DLM Architecture. The A-E’s are deeply rooted in the Bay Area with vast experience in public/private K-12 school design.
We’re especially excited about the firms’ desire to work collaboratively with our school community to focus on the success of our students. They’re committed to designing school buildings that support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), flexible/collaborative spaces, and outdoor learning areas – providing both students and educators with environments that spark advanced-level thinking, creativity, and joy.
Scroll through the following photo gallery of sample K-12 modernization projects completed by our selected A-E’s.
Brailsford & Dunlavey (B&D), a premier national firm overseeing new school construction ranging from planning through implementation, has been selected to manage our school modernization process, along with RGM and Associates, a regional firm with significant experience managing local K-12 and K-14 projects, including the Menlo Park School District.
The Independent Citizens Bond Oversight Committee held its first meeting on Thursday, November 3. For more information on the members of the Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee, and to view minutes from their meeting: http://www.rcsd.k12.ca.us/Page/7351
The Board heard a full progress report on all aspects of the Measure T program at its November 9 meeting. You can view the PowerPoint presentation here.
In the coming weeks and months you will begin to see architects, engineers, and contractors visiting your campus to work with your principal and staff. Please know that this is a part of the process of preparing for design and construction. If you have questions about anything you see on your site, please check with your principal for further details.
Measure T Pre-Construction Planning UnderwayPosted by Naomi Hunter on 6/3/2016
Measure T Program Office on the Kennedy Middle School campus
Measure T Pre-Construction Planning Underway
In November 2015 the community passed Measure T, a bond program to upgrade and repair our schools. Over the past 6 months we have been hard at work laying the groundwork for a successful bond program, and want to share where we are in the process.
Facilities Master Plan Driving Budgeting and Planning Process
An important early step in a successful bond program is assessing the facilities needs and conditions, and envisioning how facilities can support learning and teaching. To do that, the District engaged the Redwood City community in an extensive master planning process in 2014 and 2015, and together with our school communities, produced a Facilities Master Plan that prioritizes the upgrades and projects needed in the district. The Facilities Master Plan, approved by the board in 2015, is now the working document driving the planning and budgeting process that occurs before construction can begin. We are currently in the pre-construction planning process for our capital improvement program that will invest approximately $193 million in our school facilities over about 8 years, and will make significant improvements to each of our 16 campuses.
Bond Program Budgets and Project Sequence Planning Now Underway.
With input from our school communities, a prioritized list of projects was matched with the $193 million bond authorized by voters. Bonds are issued, or sold, in increments, and the Measure T program will be able to sell bonds about every two years. We are working on the first sale, planned for late this summer. Just as with a home renovation project, the District has to plan projects according to when funds will be available. We are now mapping the sequence of the projects prioritized in the Facilities Master plan over about 8 years. To put the project sequence in place, we are working with construction experts, architects and our in-house team to make an efficient line-up of projects. We expect to have a preliminary program schedule and budget in place at the end of the summer.
We expect to begin designing individual projects this fall, and planning for construction on some projects to begin in 2017. Parents and community members may wonder why it takes so long before “shovels hit ground”. California has many layers of requirements and laws that govern school construction, public contracting and use of bonds to pay for construction. This is why we have safe schools in California, but these regulations also mean that it takes longer to get a school construction project up and running than a private or residential construction project. The district is following a lean but careful, step-by-step plan to comply with laws and regulations, secure the best terms (e.g. lowest interest rates) for the money borrowed to pay for construction, manage taxpayer funds in a way that maximizes the improvements made to our campuses, and minimize problems and unanticipated costs during construction, all while delivering projects on time. This critical, step-by-step pre-construction planning process is well underway.
Accomplishments to date:
- Don Dias, who has served as Redwood City School District’s Director of Facilities for many years and knows our campuses better than anyone, has been appointed as Director of Bond Construction to oversee the program.
- We hired and are working with a financial advisor who is guiding us through the process of issuing (i.e. selling) the first of about 4 bonds that will pay for the construction. The first funds will available in early September.
- We hired and are working with a program advisor to guide us through planning, program budgeting, scheduling of projects, and the hiring of the bond team: program manager, project managers, architects, environmental experts, engineers, and construction managers needed to implement the design, bidding, construction and closeout of projects.
- The board solicited and reviewed applications from the community and appointed an Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee to ensure that the money is spent as voters intended. The Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee will hold its first meeting in August or September.
- The Board has scheduled a study session for Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. to review progress on Measure T in detail. Parents and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend to learn more about the Measure T construction program.
- The District is reviewing management, accounting and accountability software systems that will help the District track, manage, and report the money spent on construction.
Director of Bond Construction, Don Dias, meets with consultants
regarding Facilities Master Plan
- Hire a program management firm, architects, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) consultants, project managers, construction managers, auditors, inspectors and many others required to successfully implement a program of this size. A program manager will be hired by the end of the summer. The program manager is a company that oversees the entire group of projects being completed with bond funds.
- Decide on the schedule and sequence of projects. The board will be considering this over the summer.
As we wrap up the not-so-glamorous groundwork of building the program systems, management team, budgets and procurement, we are excited to get started soon on designing projects that will benefit Redwood City School District students for decades to come!