• Referendum 2015


  • Next Gen Facilities Update - Feb. 13, 2015

    Posted by EPS Communications on 2/13/2015

    District’s Next Generation Facilities Plan receives positive review from State

    Formal approval required for May 5 Bond Referendum

     

    Edina Public Schools (EPS) has received a positive review and comment from Minnesota Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius regarding the proposed renovations and additions included in the district’s Next Generation Facilities Plan Referendum.

     

    “We are pleased that the commissioner responded quickly and favorably to our project plan and we are able to move forward with our information sharing and engagement efforts with the Edina community,” said Superintendent Ric Dressen. “We look forward to connecting with voters ahead of our bond referendum on May 5 to share with them our strategic plans for redesigning and aligning our facilities with the needs current and future learners.”

     

    Under state law, proposed school construction projects over $2 million per site must be submitted to the commissioner of education for review prior to seeking voter approval of a bond referendum. The commissioner has 60 days to review and issue a positive, negative or unfavorable evaluation about the educational and economic advisability of the project. EPS submitted its $124.9 million project proposal on Jan. 26 and received a positive review from the commissioner on Feb. 10. 

     

    The Next Generation Facilities Plan includes renovations and/or additions at all 10 of the district’s schools, from early childhood through grade 12, to enhance building security, create a variety of learning spaces, and improve district infrastructure. According to Dressen, the plan allows the district to further its Next Generation of EPS Strategic Plan by transforming learning environments and advancing the district’s tradition of excellence. 

     
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  • Next Gen Facilities Update - Jan. 14, 2015

    Posted by EPS Communications on 1/14/2015

    Board approves facilities plan, sets community referendum vote for May 5 

    District committed to continued dialogues with residents to refine the concept plan

    ECC 1980s At its meeting on Jan. 12, the Edina School Board voted unanimously to authorize a special bond referendum election for Tuesday, May 5. The referendum seeks voter approval on a $124.9 million “Next Generation Facilities” proposal that includes renovations and additions to meet the needs of current and future learners.

    “This facilities Concept Plan touches all learners in the district, from early childhood through grade 12,” said Superintendent Ric Dressen. “And because all of our buildings are community assets, the investment in these facility upgrades and additions impacts the entire Edina Public Schools community.”

    The Concept Plan outlines the key projects to be included in the bond referendum. District officials noted that development of specific design decisions and drawings would not occur until after the district has secured community approval, which has caused some confusion among community members.

    “This is how school construction projects work, we need to wait for community authorization before we invest in specific design and details,” said Dressen. “After a successful referendum, we will begin the design phase, which will include significant staff, family and community input.”

    Director of Communications, Susan Brott, added that even though specific design details will not be available, continued community discussions will help refine the concept plan over the next several weeks, allowing more details to be shared with residents prior to the vote in May.

    “We are continuing our engagement of neighbors, staff and residents-at-large, to further clarify the project proposal for voters,” Brott said. “Updates on these discussions will be shared with the Board and archived online over the next weeks and months to continue the conversation with our community.”

    The Concept Plan includes renovations and additions at all 10 of the district’s educational facilities, enhancing building security and creating a variety of instructional spaces to facilitate individual and small group learning, direct instruction in a traditional classroom setting, and large group demonstration learning spaces. It also includes construction of a multi-purpose activity center adjacent to the high school to address middle school and high school curricular and co-curricular needs, as well as provide some additional large group and activity space for community members.  

    “The traditional classroom model serves some learners well, but we know that our students need a variety of learning experiences to be prepared for college, career and life,” said Brott. “We want to ensure that all students have access to a variety of educational experiences that will help them be successful for the next stage.”

    Prior to the board vote, several community members spoke about the proposal. Four urged the Board to support the proposal, citing excitement for the investment in facilities to help future learners. Three community members spoke of concerns about the impact the activity center may have on their adjacent neighborhoods, specifically a road extension on the west side of the property. Dressen noted that neighborhood conversations had brought to light these concerns and the district is looking at alternatives for access to the activity center on the existing school property.

    “We heard clearly from our neighbors about the negative impacts a new access road could have on the quality of life in these neighborhoods, and we believe we will be able to find an alternative solution to this issue of the access road in the next few weeks,” Dressen said. He added that the district is continuing conversations with the city about traffic concerns near the West Campus, as well as discussions with the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District and Three Rivers Park District about potential environmental impacts of building on the site.  

    School Board members urged community members to stay engaged and learn more about the details of the proposal. 

    “It is about facilities, but this proposal will truly help us better meet the needs of all learners,” said Board member Regina Neville. “We are helping to design a support structure that will impact education for the next generation of learners. This referendum is an opportunity to continue our partnership with our citizens by engaging them in our strategic work and helping them see the impact of this proposal.”  

    Cathy Cella agreed. "Approval of this concept plan and the referendum authorization is not the end of the discussion. It is ongoing and we encourage everyone to learn more and be informed before casting their vote on May 5.” 

     

    Edina Public School voters last approved a bond referendum in 2003. District officials cite that since the 1980s, the community has supported facility updates and upgrades about every 10 years.

     

    Brott noted that additional information and details will be shared through various district communication channels, including print and digital publications, over the next few months in an effort to better inform voters on the proposal. 

     

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  • Next Gen Facilities Update - Dec. 16, 2014

    Posted by EPS Communications on 12/16/2014

    NEXT GENERATION 
    FACILITIES PLAN UPDATE

    Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

    On Monday, Dec. 15, administration presented its recommended Next Generation Facilities Concept Plan, outlining the facility improvement projects to be included in a May 2015 Bond Referendum. The Concept Plan includes construction and/or renovation at all ten educational facilities in the District aligned with the district’s Next Generation of Edina Public Schools Strategic Plan to update learning spaces in an effort to meet changing instructional practices and learner needs. The plan also addresses key infrastructure improvements of district facilities to address accessibility, safety and security, and ongoing operational needs.

    The Concept Plan incorporates extensive research and planning over the last several years. Proposals have been refined from the original Facilities Advisory Task Force recommendations in October, and includes a variety of inputs and feedback from district stakeholders, including students, families, staff and community members. (Read more about the research and planning phases here)

    At its meeting on Jan. 12, the Board is expected to act on the concept proposal and resolution to call a special election (referendum) for May 5, 2015. 

     

    Next Generation Facilities Concept Proposal

    Edina Public Schools Bond Referendum

    May 5, 2015

     

    Administration recommends the following facility improvements be considered for School Board action for inclusion in a 2015 Bond Referendum.

     

    Total Proposal: $124,900,000

    Enhance Next Generation Learning Spaces — Create a variety of flexible learning spaces that compliment current instructional spaces, which would include direct instruction (traditional classrooms) as well individual, small and large group spaces, from birth through grade 12, to meet the needs of Next Generation learners ($107,100,000)

      • Early Childhood Improvements – Renovate part of the first floor of Edina Community Center into an early learning center that incorporates ECFE, ECSE and preschool/school readiness programs to help prepare students for kindergarten and beyond. In addition, the proposal would provide improvements to ensure the safety and security of this early learning center.   
    • Elementary Improvements – Renovate and construct a variety of flexible learning spaces that allow for different learning styles and instructional strategies for grades K-5, including:
      • A variety of instructional spaces to accommodate traditional classroom instruction as well as individual, small and large group learning
      • Media Center improvements to advance digital and collaborative learning opportunities for all learners
      • Additional learning spaces to provide equity among sites for specialized programming, including special education, learning interventions, music, art and physical education
      • Adaptable furniture improvements to replace deteriorating current inventory of student furniture and allow for better alignment with space improvements and enhanced collaboration
      • Outdoor learning space improvements to encourage anywhere, anytime learning
      • Building safety improvements, including main office renovations, to allow for controlled, centralized access to the facility
    • Middle School Improvements – Renovate and construct a variety of flexible learning spaces that allow for different learning styles and instructional strategies for both students and staff, and align with future middle school programming for grades 6-8, including:
      • Improvements that allow for a more comprehensive middle school experience for students in grades 6-8, promoting interdisciplinary learning and collaboration
      • A variety of instructional spaces to accommodate traditional classroom instruction as well as individual, small and large group learning
      • Media Center improvements to advance digital and collaborative learning opportunities for all learners
      • Expanded PLTW, STEM and learning lab spaces to foster innovation and creativity
      • Learning space improvements for special education and other specialized programming
      • Construction of student commons area to promote anywhere, anytime learning and student engagement
      • Building safety improvements, including main office renovations and relocations, to allow for controlled, centralized access to the facility
    • High School Improvements – Renovate and construct a variety of flexible learning spaces that allow for different learning styles and instructional strategies for both students and staff, and align with future high school programming for grades 9-12, including:
      • Building additions and improvements to address increased enrollment of 650+ students
      • A variety of instructional spaces to accommodate traditional classroom instruction as well as individual, small and large group learning
      • Media Center improvements to advance digital and collaborative learning opportunities for all learners
      • Expanded PLTW, STEM and learning lab spaces to foster innovation and creativity
      • Learning space improvements for special education and other specialized programming
      • Building safety improvements, including main office renovations and relocations, to allow for controlled, centralized access to the facility
    • Multi-purpose Activity Center (a space for a variety of learning, academic and athletic activities for use by students, staff and community) – Construct a multi-purpose space on the West Campus to address current secondary curricular and co-curricular, as well as community program needs, including:   
      • Large and small group learning spaces to address high school curricular needs including physical education, fitness and health that align with strategic efforts to promote personal wellness and healthy lifestyle habits
      • Spaces that provide opportunities for large group hands-on learning during the day 
      • Adaptable activity, athletic and competition spaces to address:
        • Growing co-curricular needs at the high school and middle schools
        • Increased community program space needs
      • Accessibility improvements to provide handicap access for all users
    • Invest in District Infrastructure — maintain the community’s investment and improve safety of current district facilities ($17,800,000):
      • Additional Safety and Security Enhancements at all sites, including cameras and technologies to provide zone lockdown capability
      • Outdoor Athletic Space Improvements to improve safety of playing surfaces, address accessibility concerns, and meet growing demand for outdoor competition space, including:
        • Repairing/constructing turf fields at East and West Campus
        • Replacing West Campus tennis courts
        • Replacing Kuhlman Stadium track
      • Improve Access to Parking to provide adequate space, for staff, student and community access, particularly at the West Campus
      • Construct an Transportation Services Facility to replace the current building with a secure facility that can house the entire District fleet of buses and provide for possible expansion in the future. A portion of the cost of this new construction would be offset by the sale of the current facility. 
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  • Next Gen Facilities Update - Nov. 20, 2014

    Posted by EPS Communications on 11/20/2014

    NEXT GENERATION
    FACILITIES PLAN UPDATE

    Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014

    The district continues its Next Generation Facilities Planning ahead of a potential May 2015 bond referendum. The planning is part of the district’s comprehensive facilities review, which has included years of discussion and planning on how best to align the district’s aging facilities with the needs of current and future learners.

    In early October, the district completed Phase I of the Facilities Plan with the completion of several facilities studies and recommendations from this fall’s Facilities Advisory Task Force (FATF). Since then, administration has been refining the recommendations, to include additional considerations from staff, community members, and the School Board.   

    At its meeting on Nov. 17, the Board continued its discussion of a draft proposal, which includes creating a variety of flexible learning and activity spaces from early childhood through high school, as well as improvements in site security, athletic fields, and increased parking. There is also discussion of a potential new transportation facilities site to accommodate security and space needs that are limited at the current location.  

    DRAFT PROPOSAL (as of Nov. 17, 2014) 
    total cost - $100-125 million 

    • Enhance Next Generation Learning Spaces ($90 – 110 million) - create flexible learning spaces at all levels, Birth to Grade 12, to meet the needs of Next Generation learners
    • Early Childhood Improvements – Provide safe and secure flexible learning spaces to enhance early learning programming in accordance with recommendations of the BG5 Strategic Study, including reconfiguring the ECC first floor as an early childhood center to improve access and security of the facility as well as accommodate the enhancement of:
      • Early intervention programming options for ages birth-3
      • Pre-school screenings to help families navigate program and service options
      • Stronger alignment between Early Education and Kindergarten programs
      • Enhanced partnership with community-based early childhood programs to ensure equitable access to 3 and 4 year old programs
    • Elementary Improvements – Construct more flexible learning spaces that allow for different learning styles and instructional needs for both students and staff. Such recommended improvements include a variety of instructional spaces to accommodate direct instruction as well as individual, small and large group learning. Adaptable furniture improvements are also recommended to replace deteriorating current inventory and allow for better alignment with space improvements and varied instructional strategies. The proposal also calls for potential additions to provide equitable specialist spaces, especially large group/gymnasium spaces, between elementary schools. Specifically,
      • Next Generation Learning Spaces
        • Appropriate & equitable specialist areas at all schools, including additional large group activity spaces at Highlands and Cornelia
        • Media Center renovations creating a variety of flexible, learning and collaboration spaces
        • Special education space renovations
        • Additions/renovations at all sites creating a variety of Next Generation learning spaces
        • Flexible, instructional furniture to align with Next Generation learning
        • Potential new outdoor learning spaces that promote wellness and achievement
      • Core Renovations
        • Security improvements and office modifications to promote controlled access to the facility
        • Maintenance improvements aligned with the district’s 10-year Alternative Facilities Plan
    • Middle School Improvements – Renovate current spaces utilized by grade 9 into more flexible learning spaces that allow for different learning styles and instructional needs for both students and staff. Such recommended improvements include a variety of instructional spaces to accommodate direct instruction as well as individual, small and large group learning. Adaptable furniture improvements are also recommended to replace deteriorating current inventory and allow for better alignment with space improvements and varied instructional strategies. Middle school improvements will also allow for a more comprehensive middle school experience for students in grades 6-8 that promote interdisciplinary learning and collaboration.
      • Next Generation Learning Spaces (conversion of current gr. 9 spaces)
        • Media Center renovations creating variety of flexible learning spaces
        • Collaborative centers
        • Personalized learning options
        • Special Education space renovations
        • Flexible, instructional furniture to align with Next Gen learning
        • Student Commons Area
      • Core Renovations
        • Relocate SVMS Office
        • Security Improvements
        • Classroom Improvements
    • High School Improvements – Construct an addition at the current EHS site to accommodate additional 650+ students (ninth grade) in an effort to provide a comprehensive high school experience. The additional will include flexible learning spaces that allow for different learning styles and instructional needs for both students and staff. Such recommended improvements include a variety of instructional spaces to accommodate direct instruction as well as individual, small and large group learning. Adaptable furniture improvements are also recommended to replace deteriorating current inventory and allow for better alignment with space improvements and varied instructional strategies.
      • Additional learning spaces to accommodate gr. 9-12 enrollment
        • Approximately 28-30 Teaching Stations
        • Some “Core” Expansion (toilets, cafeteria, lockers, etc.)
        • 60,000 - 70,000 square feet +/-
      • Next Gen Learning Spaces
        • Media Center renovations creating variety of flexible learning spaces
        • Collaborative centers
        • Personalized learning options
        • Increased STEM/PLTW spaces
        • Special Education space renovations
        • Flexible, instructional furniture to align with Next Gen learning
      • Core Renovations
        • Reorganize Offices
        • Security Improvements
        • Additional Parking
    • Edina Multi-Purpose Activity Center (EMAC) – Construct adaptable learning and competition spaces at the West Campus to address additional EHS curricular, co-curricular and community-based needs. This addition to EHS will support district programming both during and after school, while also freeing up large group spaces at the middle schools for site-based after school programming. The EMAC would also address accessibility concerns by providing ADA access to the lower fields and outdoor activity spaces. The proposed addition for EMAC would be approximately 70,000 square feet and include 3 standard size gymnasiums, one auxiliary gym/large group activity space, 2 large group activity spaces, an indoor walking track, a fitness center, and locker rooms. The space is intended to address three key needs:
      • EHS curricular needs (e.g. physical education, health, other large group learning opportunities)
      • Co-curricular needs for both EHS activities (e.g. Robotics, clubs, intramurals) and athletics. In addition, the new space will free up large group space at the middle schools currently used by EHS athletics and activities to allow for new middle school co-curricular activities.
      • Community-based program needs including evening and weekend use by community groups and organizations.  
    • Invest in District Infrastructure ($9-15 million) – ensure safe and secure indoor and outdoor facilities for users; protect community investments
      • Safety and Security Enhancements at each district facility recommends including renovating entrances/vestibules (in addition to such improvements noted above) and installing appropriate technologies for controlled access and additional security measures
      • Athletic Field/Space Improvements to improve safety of outdoor playing surfaces including the installation of new artificial turf at some locations to accommodate increased field use, address accessibility concerns, and meet growing demand for outdoor competition spaces
      • Improve Access to Parking to provide adequate space, for staff, student and community access, particularly at the West Campus
      • Develop an Alternative Transportation Services Facility, in partnership with the City of Edina, to address adequate space and security concerns for current and future fleets.  

     

    DRAFT BOND REFERENDUM FINANCING
    20-year bond sale of $100-125 million  

    Data used in the Community Survey and by the FATF was based on preliminary financial information and assumptions at the time (i.e., spring 2014). Since that time, the district has approved its total 2014 Payable 2015 tax levy and made financial adjustments to address increased property values and other factors. Administration continues to work with its financial advisors to develop a funding proposal that meets the district’s facility needs while also considering overall tax impact on property owners in both the short and long term. Preliminary estimated tax impact on an average Edina Public Schools residential home (valued at $400,000) would include an increase in property taxes of $21-27 per month, depending on the cost of the final proposal.  


    TENTATIVE BOND REFERENDUM TIMELINE
     

    The School Board and administration are continuing discussions to further refine and develop a bond referendum proposal for School Board approval. The Board is expected to act on a final proposal on Dec. 15 or Jan. 12, with community vote in a special election in expected in early May 2015. The bond referendum proposal will allow the district to address facility needs in alignment with the district’s strategic plan and vision to remain among the premier school districts both nationally and internationally. Specifically,

    • Upcoming Stakeholder Engagement on Draft Proposal 
      • EPS Staff Dialogues – Dec. 1-10
      • Community Forum – Dec. 8
      • Community Survey – Dec. 2-12
    • Election Timeline

      • Dec. 15 or Jan. 12 – Recommended Board Action

      • Jan. – March 2015 – MDE Review and Comment

      • Mid-March 2015 Absentee Voting begins

      • Jan. – April 2015

        • Community Dialogues
        • Information Campaign
      • May 2015 – Special Election (Bond Referendum) 

       

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