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Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: FCPS News ()
Date: August 09, 2013 07:40AM

Group examines school renovation costs

Fairfax County Public Schools officials defended the costs of school construction and renovations to county leaders at a meeting Monday.
http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20130808/NEWS/130809366/1117/group-examines-school-renovation-costs&template=fairfaxTimes

Fairfax County Public Schools officials defended the costs of school construction and renovations to county leaders at a meeting Monday.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board are working to identify cost-effective ways to meet the county’s growing need to renovate existing school and county buildings and construct new facilities to meet population growth.

A school renovation can range from $14 million for an elementary school to more than $85 or $90 million for a high school.

While a school building might get a new facade as part of a renovation, the most expensive part of a building renovation is hidden behind walls and ceiling tiles, said Jeff Platenberg, assistant superintendent for facilities and transportation services for the school system.

“Someone driving by might get the false impression that there is a lot more of that going on throughout the building,” he said of the facades.

The biggest costs are in adding space for more students at overcrowded schools, replacing heating and cooling systems, upgrading technological infrastructure and bringing buildings in line with current building code and accessibility requirements, he said.

Platenberg and Kevin Sneed, director of the Department of Facilities and Transportation Services, also said Fairfax County already spends less on each school renovation than neighboring counties.

Other jurisdictions are also investing more in renovations, Platenberg and Sneed said.

Montgomery County, Md., for example, spends about $200 million per year in county funds and receives about $39 million per year from the state and has fewer schools and fewer students than Fairfax.

“They have the ability to do things that we would never dream of,” Sneed said, like installing concrete bleachers in their sports stadiums and having a higher number of bathrooms.

School facilities staff say they need about $242 million a year to truly meet the facility needs of the school system. The schools currently receive $155 million per year from the county for capital needs.

Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock) said the school administration still needs to give the elected officials serving on the Infrastructure Financing Committee more options for what can be cut out of school renovation projects to reduce the cost.

“There is not $242 million a year,” he said. “You can say you need it all you want, but it’s not there and it’s not going to be there.”

The committee, which includes three supervisors and three School Board members, also asked staff to identify unnecessary code requirements that increase costs and explore more creative solutions.

School Board member Patty Reed (Providence) said the joint initiative presents an opportunity to look at more innovative solutions, such as considering school program changes, leasing space or incorporating schools into a mixed-use facility.

“I hope we get to a point where we can be really solution-oriented and creative,” she said.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: I betcha ()
Date: August 09, 2013 10:18AM

Clifton elementary will reopen.

The school sign is still up and I have seen FCPS official cars in the school parking lot.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: really now ()
Date: August 09, 2013 10:47AM

Montgomery County, Md., for example, spends about $200 million per year in county funds and receives about $39 million per year from the state and has fewer schools and fewer students than Fairfax.

“They have the ability to do things that we would never dream of,” Sneed said, like installing concrete bleachers in their sports stadiums and having a higher number of bathrooms.
_____________________________________________________________________

MOCO has more money to spend because they dn't blow it in turf fields.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: forgot to mention ()
Date: August 09, 2013 10:56AM

Platenberg and Kevin Sneed, director of the Department of Facilities and Transportation Services, also said Fairfax County already spends less on each school renovation than neighboring counties.

The reason FCPS spends less per square foot that MOCO is simple.

I have to wonder why Platenberg and Sneed failed to mention it to The BOS.

MOCO does teardowns and NEW CONSTRUCTION of their schools-not the bS patchwork crap job that FCPS does. So for a little bit more, MOCO gets a brand new school-not some dilapidated 60 year old structure with asbestos and a new wing or trailers out back.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Budget Cuts ()
Date: August 09, 2013 10:58AM

Budget cuts are going to be a reality, and they are going to be deep, forget the turf, band trip to the Rose Bowl, all of that superfluous crap.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: who has more schools? ()
Date: August 09, 2013 11:30AM

Montgomery County, Md., for example, spends about $200 million per year in county funds and receives about $39 million per year from the state and has fewer schools and fewer students than Fairfax.

******************************************************************


In the 2012–2013 school year, MCPS operates 132 elementary
schools, 38 middle schools, 25 high schools, one career and
technology high school, five special program centers and one
charter school, for a total of 202 facilities.

VS



Schools and Centers
•2013 - 14 total: 196
•Elementary (preschool - 6): 139
•Middle (6-8): 3
•Middle (7-8): 20
•Secondary (7 - 12): 3
•High (9 - 12): 22
•Alternative High Schools: 2
•Special Education Centers: 7
Alternative Programs and Learning Centers
•2013-14 total: 46

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Smart ()
Date: August 09, 2013 11:45AM

Montgomery County was smart and kept closed schools down county as holding sites for renovations. They usually demo the old building build brand new and have the whole project done in a couple of years except for the huge high school projects. All this is done with no students or staff in the building because they are at the old school that is being used while the school is under renovation. New build is almost always better than renovation. Plus why is it that FCPS renovates a school and it still has trailers, capacity issues, lack of facilities, etc.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: cattle cars anyone? ()
Date: August 09, 2013 11:45AM

Montgomery County Public Schools:

Preferred Range of Enrollment: Preferred ranges of enrollment
for schools, provided they have program capacity, are:
• Elementary schools—300 to 750 total student
enrollment
• Middle schools—600 to 1,200 total student enrollment
• High schools—1,000 to 2,000 total student enrollment
• Special and alternative program centers will differ from
the above ranges and generally have lower enrollment



Huh? An elementray school between 300-750 kids---great idea--I'm sure there is a very good reason for such a goal.

Let's look at FCPS land:

Ft Belvoir Elem 1146 kids
Colin Powell 1161 kids
Hunter Woods 1122 kids
Lorton Station 1009 kids
Glen Forest 999 kids
Green Briar West 995 kids
Mantua 953 kids

Now I understand how our per kid/sq ft construction costs are soooo much better than anyone else----we cram 1000 kids in a school, that's how.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: great planning btw ()
Date: August 09, 2013 11:59AM

I am so happy that FCPS finally decided to have this important conversation with The Board of Supervisors-it's about damn time.

A little tidbit.....

34 of our elementary schools will be in excess of 115% of capacity in five years.

So nice to see someon looking into this problem.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Tax Payer ()
Date: August 09, 2013 12:10PM

I am part of this group. We don't need to remodel schools.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Gerryatrics at work ()
Date: August 09, 2013 01:03PM

great planning btw Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am so happy that FCPS finally decided to have
> this important conversation with The Board of
> Supervisors-it's about damn time.
>
> A little tidbit.....
>
> 34 of our elementary schools will be in excess of
> 115% of capacity in five years.
>
> So nice to see someon looking into this problem.


The board knows the schools are severely overcrowded, they were the ones who invited everyone here for all points of the world east and west to locate here and provide for them. Take a look at the demographics and you will quickly understand why schools built in communities that a couple of decades ago were going to close are now bursting at the seams. You cant have it both ways folks, The county sold you a bill of goods and you can now enjoy the situation your elected leaders have created. How much longer can they perpetuate their beloved slogan, "people come here for the schools"?

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: KeepOnTruckin ()
Date: August 09, 2013 02:22PM

FCPS did a study and found it was cheaper to renovate a school rather than construct a new one. Read about it here:
http://www.fcps.edu/fts/planning/fpac/meetingagenda/buildvsrenovate.pdf

"Considering the cost and environmental implications, and considering that we ensure that renovated buildings contain all essential spaces to allow the effective delivery of the school system’s program of studies, staff believes that we should maintain our practice of renovating, not replacing, schools"

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Tray von Martin ()
Date: August 09, 2013 02:26PM

great planning btw Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am so happy that FCPS finally decided to have
> this important conversation with The Board of
> Supervisors-it's about damn time.
>
> A little tidbit.....
>
> 34 of our elementary schools will be in excess of
> 115% of capacity in five years.
>
> So nice to see someon looking into this problem.


As long as we keep the borders open and Amnesty on the table, they'll keep on coming.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: writing on the wall ()
Date: August 09, 2013 02:35PM

Time to look at the projections for 2017 if you are in the real estate market.

The most likely redistricting in the next five years:

Highes MS to Cooper
Kilmer to Thoreau
Jackson to Poe

WestPo to hayfield
South Lakes to Langley

Westbriar to Wolf Trap
Coates/Mcnair to Floris
Forestdale to Garfield


I am soooooooooooooooooo glad that Bradsher got her damn middle school at SOCO--jumping ahead of other projects. That middle school is projected to be at 65% capacity in 2017.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: brilliant conclusion ()
Date: August 09, 2013 02:38PM

KeepOnTruckin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> FCPS did a study and found it was cheaper to
> renovate a school rather than construct a new one.
> Read about it here:
> http://www.fcps.edu/fts/planning/fpac/meetingagend
> a/buildvsrenovate.pdf
>
> "Considering the cost and environmental
> implications, and considering that we ensure that
> renovated buildings contain all essential spaces
> to allow the effective delivery of the school
> system’s program of studies, staff believes that
> we should maintain our practice of renovating, not
> replacing, schools"



No??? Cheaper to renovate than build?? NO SHIT SHERLOCK.

But guess what? In another 40 years, I'd rather have a 40 year old structure than one pushing 100 years old.

You keep renovating.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: asdfadsfadsfad ()
Date: August 09, 2013 06:24PM

KeepOnTruckin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> FCPS did a study and found it was cheaper to
> renovate a school rather than construct a new one.
> Read about it here:
> http://www.fcps.edu/fts/planning/fpac/meetingagend
> a/buildvsrenovate.pdf
>
> "Considering the cost and environmental
> implications, and considering that we ensure that
> renovated buildings contain all essential spaces
> to allow the effective delivery of the school
> system’s program of studies, staff believes that
> we should maintain our practice of renovating, not
> replacing, schools"


On average how old are most of those schools?

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: an example ()
Date: August 09, 2013 06:31PM

West Springfield is 48 years old and is scheduled for renovation in 2017 (it will be 52 at the time of renovation). Will it make it another 52 years on that renovation? I would guess no judging by what the renovations look like.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Young Curmudgeon ()
Date: August 09, 2013 06:47PM

There's something called law of diminishing returns. After a certain number of years (call it 50), it's better to tear down the high school than it is to keep adding wings and the like onto it. You'll get a new building, and you won't have to do a new renovation every 20 years.

_____________
We are all Eesh.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Eleanor Holmes Norton ()
Date: August 19, 2013 07:11PM

Seems like a great deal compared to the new $122,000,000 high school in DC. Of course, restored Steinway piano's and eight-lane swimming pools don't come cheap.

But with only 500 students and a graduation rate of 60%, DC deserves a little something for the effort.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-leaders-to-celebrate-new-dunbar-high-school-facility/2013/08/18/19f8374c-0832-11e3-8974-f97ab3b3c677_story.html

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Simple Fact ()
Date: August 20, 2013 10:20PM

Eleanor Holmes Norton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Seems like a great deal compared to the new
> $122,000,000 high school in DC. Of course,
> restored Steinway piano's and eight-lane swimming
> pools don't come cheap.
>
> But with only 500 students and a graduation rate
> of 60%, DC deserves a little something for the
> effort.
>
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-l
> eaders-to-celebrate-new-dunbar-high-school-facilit
> y/2013/08/18/19f8374c-0832-11e3-8974-f97ab3b3c677_
> story.html

You know Obama's animals will trash the place in no time.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: Bond Issue ()
Date: August 21, 2013 06:32AM

Montgomery County has way more money for school construction because its local and state taxes are MUCH higher than in Virginia.

Fairfax County will always retain its AAA credit rating from all three rating agencies. This means there is a basically fixed maximum upper amount that can be spent towards new construction and major renovation each year (based upon factors like debt as a percentage of the total budget and debt per capita of the population). These are prudent financing decisions, and FCPS needs to live within their budget.

The FCPS School Board would like to have its own taxation authority. You can thank the Virginia General Assembly for preventing that.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: I'm not going back to my old..." ()
Date: August 21, 2013 09:20AM

brilliant conclusion Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> KeepOnTruckin Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > FCPS did a study and found it was cheaper to
> > renovate a school rather than construct a new
> one.
> > Read about it here:
> >
> http://www.fcps.edu/fts/planning/fpac/meetingagend
>
> > a/buildvsrenovate.pdf
> >
> > "Considering the cost and environmental
> > implications, and considering that we ensure
> that
> > renovated buildings contain all essential
> spaces
> > to allow the effective delivery of the school
> > system’s program of studies, staff believes
> that
> > we should maintain our practice of renovating,
> not
> > replacing, schools"

>
>
> No??? Cheaper to renovate than build?? NO SHIT
> SHERLOCK.
>
> But guess what? In another 40 years, I'd rather
> have a 40 year old structure than one pushing 100
> years old.
>
> You keep renovating.

You're still attending school 40 years from now?
Most buildings constructed within the last twenty years are designed with a structural expectancy of thirty years.

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Re: Group examines school renovation costs
Posted by: %*%^&*#$%#$^# ()
Date: August 21, 2013 09:33AM

All they need to do is lay down some nice turf to make it look beautiful.

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