School Board Meeting: June 27, 2017


We’re gonna go ahead and call the meeting to order and if you all would rise and will swear the pledge of allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the
flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands one
nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Ms. Goddell
if you would call the roll. Mr. Ankuma? I. Mr. Castillo? Here. Ms. Gill? I. Mr. Reitinger? Here. Ms. Ward? Here. Mr Webb? Here. And Mr. Lawrence? Here. Thank you. We’re gonna have a business action first 3.01
and that will be the appointment of the MEH principal yes thank you mr.
chair members the board good evening it is a pleasure this evening to welcome
Valerie Hardy to Falls Church City Public Schools as our selected
appointment for the principalship at Mary Ellen Henderson I’ve had the
opportunity to work with miss Hardy for a number of years in Fairfax County and
in a number of capacities and on her own merits
she has firmly placed herself the first among equals
for sure she most recently comes to us as an assistant principal at Daniel’s
run elementary school prior to that she was assistant principal at Crestwood
elementary school with mr. tim Kasich who actually happens to be here whose
son is a rising 7th grader oh sorry daughter at Mary Ellen Henderson
and prior to that was the director of student services at Kilmer middle school
and before that was a lead counselor Kilmer and before that was a special
education middle school teacher but in her 17 years of experience 12 of those
years are at the middle school level so she comes with a really broad leadership
base when she took the two assistant
principal positions at the elementary school part of it was to round out her
experiences and prepare her for whatever the next experience for her was gonna be and
we are very proud to have her join our schools here in the city so with that
I’ll turn it back to you Mr. Chair. And what can I give you an opportunity
to speak right after we do the formal so if someone would make a motion please all right mr. chair I move that the
school board approved the appointment of Valerie Hardy principal of Mary Ellen
Henderson middle school effective July 10 2017. Is there a second? Thank you Mr. Ankuma. Ms. Goddell? Mr. Ankuma? Yes. Mr. Castillo? Aye. Ms. Gill? Aye. Mr. Lawrence? Yes. Mr. Reitinger? Yes. Ms. Ward? Yes. Mr. Webb? Yes. Congratulations. The floor is yours for any remarks you want to make. Well first of all it is thank you I’m so excited and honored to be joining such an amazing school system with such
strong principles around student leadership student growth and
development and focusing on creating critical and creative problem-solvers
who are going to do great things in this world so I could not be more thrilled to
have an opportunity to work in a neighborhood school that’s important to
me that’s a value that I hold working in tandem with the community to make sure
we’re providing the appropriate supports for students and I had the opportunity
to meet the staff and wow what an amazing group of educators so I look
forward to leading alongside them learning with them and I know together
we’re just going to do great things at Mary Ellen Henderson so thank you and I
look forward to many years to come with great successes to share with you
all. We definitely want to to welcome
you to the to the Falls Church City family you’re coming into a great school and we
look forward to your leadership there to continue the great work that has been
going on for the a number of years there and we know that with your experience
it’s going to be bringing a lot of new and exciting ideas on ways to continue
the growth that we’ve seen at Mary Ellen any other comments anyone? Next on the agenda is public comment in
accordance with for school board bylaw 2.30 the time for each excuse me each
speaker it’s limited to three minutes additional written statement may be
submitted to the clerk for dissemination to board members and for the record the
position of request is there any request? Alright we will move on to 5.01 discussion of the board
regarding upcoming work session topics. Thank You mr. chair this I don’t think
is going to be a very long agenda item but I I wanted to discuss an idea
perhaps with all of you to see if it was something that maybe you would want to
build in to your future meetings as we try to think about what our meetings
look like both regular meetings and work sessions and try to in many ways I think
develop some discipline around what those look like
oftentimes there’s a question about whether or not topics should go on to
work sessions or not work sessions at least in my experience so in a former
district that I worked with we had what was called a forum and a forum was
typically done prior to a regular school board meeting in my previous district it
lasted sometimes up to 45 minutes or an hour the issues were remarkably
different think in terms of scope then perhaps
what are what you all may be experiencing here but the idea
behind the forum was an opportunity to come and talk with your colleagues
within that forum to say you know here are some things that I’m hearing in the
community or here are some things that I have some questions about does it rise
to the level of a work session need do we need a work session on it or not and
if not then it would be kicked back perhaps to the superintendent and staff
for some response however if it was something that rose to the level of work
session then you all be a consensus that the forum would make the decision you
know what this needs to go on a work session so then we would take it back
and develop a work session topic around whatever it was that you came out of
that forum with it’s a open meeting and an opportunity I think
more than anything just to sort of gain some consensus around ultimately what
does end up on the work session agenda we as a staff have some standing items
that we’re just going to have to do throughout the process anyway whether
its budget or hiring or curriculum updates and the like but this forum
would be something that would be more driven by perhaps a school board and as
things begin to rise so I’m sort of sending that out to you as a thought to
see if there was some sense of wanting to try that and if you did want to try
it we could perhaps try it at our next regular board meeting and start 15
minutes early at 6:45 and so for 15 minutes we could come and we just kind
of sit and have an open conversation about things that you feel like may need
a work session or may not let me stop there and sort of get some reaction from
you and see if that’s something that is of interest. Any comments feedback Mr. Castillo? thank you for those thoughts Dr. Noonan I
guess I have a couple of things that I went to a presentation by a man named Phil Gore about how school boards can make a positive impact on their
districts and one of the things he talked about was not just the front end
but on the back end having a sort of after-action review of was this meeting
a good one and did it align with our agenda in our strategic plan I I think
one of the questions that your proposal I think implicitly asks is you know
what are the issues that we should be talking about as a board and I think
some of that ties to our goals and I think some of that ties to student
achievement which i think is the touchstone of everything we do so I
think that would be a good thing to try but I would suggest also that if we are
as I hope having a board retreat and as we are revisiting our strategy that we
bake into our going forward process what it is
we should be meeting about and talking about based on that plan and if
it doesn’t touch the plan or the strategy I would respectfully defer to
you on 99% of the issues maybe the personnel is obviously an exception so I
think those two things aligning to our plan and also maybe doing an evaluation
of how we are working as a board at the end of our meetings those those two
things could dovetail to more effective meetings. Ms. Gill? I like the idea I
think it’s an efficient way to talk through some issues and you know before we have that we have at the end of our meeting future agenda items its a nice way to kind of shake things out at the beginning of the meeting instead of waiting until the end
the public is more likely to be there to hear maybe that their concerns are being
heard by us a lot of people don’t stick around till the end of the meeting to
hear the future agenda items they don’t know that we’re saying oh we’re going to
discuss this some day this way they’ll hear it right away so we are going to
raise we’re going to talk about the issues they’ve been raising and I like
the idea that you then make the decision is this a school board issue that we’re
going to talk about or is this a staff issue and then eliminate some of that
emailing back and forth as well and problems we you know we can’t have these
discussions over email so to have that 15 minutes is a nice way to have a
discussion. Just respectfully I would say that that would be your decision about
whether or not you want to carry it forward to a work session I would be
part of the conversation but ultimately I think it would be consensus to the
board to say you know what this perhaps does meet one of the pillars of the
triennial plan that we have and since we have this triennial plan it meets this
need so let’s maybe carry that one forward but I certainly would be there
to perhaps a nudge you a little to say yes or no. Any other comment? Mr.
Lawrence and your idea is this is just things that we would bring up at the
time not ahead of time and then the reason I’m asking is the last thing I
want to do is make it sound like us talking to each other then becomes an
additional burden on staff or meetings starts even earlier and they’ve got more to prepare
because I think we’ve sometimes forgotten that you know if we have an
idea that may represent you know five hours of staff time for a ten minute
discussion. I think that that’s a really great point the expectation would be
that there wouldn’t be any preparation by the staff or by the board leading up
to the forum and I think that that’s part of the conversation also is that
this topic that has come up you know we can we can work through that but it’s
going to take eight hours of staff time to do it is it worth the eight hours of
staff time to do this work or not and if it is then we’ll go forward with it and
if not then perhaps we can find a different way to navigate through
whatever the issue is. Okay I think that’s the one thing I feel like
we’ve been missing because we will come up with ideas for future agenda item
future work session items but we we don’t get okay yes we can do that but it
will take this much time and it’ll take the time of you know Trish who’s also
working on personnel policies and things like that so I feel like we come up with
ideas that are great in a vacuum that just put extra burden on staff when if
you were to say it’s going to take eight hours of staff time over the next 10
days if you really want to get to it which could easily get to it in three
weeks I think we’d look at it differently thank you. Mr. Castillo’s point one of the
when it again and in my most previously prior district we did what was called a
debrief at the end of all of our meetings just to sort of ask the
questions what worked what didn’t work did we follow our governance plan and
the like I don’t know that necessarily now is the time to implement that as we
haven’t had our opportunity to talk about governance and have that
opportunity through a retreat so that may be something that we could look at
down the line and it was very useful as a way to wrap up our school board our
regular school board meetings we didn’t typically do that after work sessions
but just something to think about. Any other comments yes this I think it’s a good something for us to do kind of get into
the practice of having opportunities to talk things out and then if it
the consensus is there you know bring it on to work session but I agree with
John as long as we know who as we’re talking about it that the amount of
staff time that may in tell may adjust or be flexible with when the actual
topic may can we come up okay. And just one last thing for for the good
of the order and I just want to from a governor’s perspective make sure that we
sort of are thinking in the same in the same path that did a forum topic that’s
approved to go from the forum to the work session then goes to the work
session and and perhaps could then go on to a regular meeting not always it might
just be an informational work session but things just wouldn’t show up on the
regular meeting if they hadn’t been to a work session previously because I want
to give you an opportunity to ask questions to sort of dig through the
issues and then have that two week window or week window to ask more
questions to of the staff and of myself so I think that’s the way things operate
but I just want to be clear. Sorry just one other question largely would this would
be something where we would all know and agree it’s going to end at 7:00 so we
can start our regular meeting because in the past we would do work sessions on
the front end where you know we’ve made it what 6:15 6:30 and we always ended up
making people late because we kept talking too long and then the seven
o’clock meeting started at 7:20 7:30 7:45 and people were milling around
outside I’d just like to make sure that we all know. Yeah I think we’re but that
is going to be a hard a hard stop so that we can’t keep the meeting on
schedule for for ourselves as well as the public who’s going to be coming for
the meetings as well. Yeah I mean we’re there any way we’re staying until the end
so it’s more the public who suffers when we keep talking. And it
wasn’t unusual for us to say the forum agendas way too thick what can be kicked
to our next meeting and we would modify that as well. Yep. Alright we’re going to move on to 6.01 FY 17
year and budget projections. Thank You Mr. chair tonight I have the great honor
and privilege to introduce formally I suppose for the first time Deirdre
McLaughlin McLaughlin excuse me Deirdre comes to us most recently as a
retiree from Arlington Public Schools and prior to that served as the chief
financial officer in Fairfax County Public Schools she is acting currently
as the interim assistant superintendent for finance and operations and we’re
very pleased to have you we have sort of been laughing a little bit not not too
hard but we both came to this position at an interesting time of the year so
towards the end her more interesting than mine at least I’ve had six weeks to
sort of lead up to the end of the school year but as Deirdre arrives she’s been
tasked with sort of looking at year-end balance and trying to figure out where
are we where do we need to go from here and how do we begin to plan for the
future budgetarily so I did invite her tonight to talk a little bit about year
end it’s not it’s not the most complex topic that we’re going to share with you
tonight but we will share more in the future but more than anything wanted to
give Deirdre an opportunity to share a little bit of information with you and
you to get to know her so with that I turn it over to Deidre. Thank you for that very
kind introduction and you’re right this was a challenging time to come to any
school Division I in my view finance offices do two things that are kind of
critical and one is the budget and everybody knows that but year end is it
is so important on a number of fronts I mean it is important because it’s a time
to measure did you do what you say said you were going to do and very
importantly are you ending the year in a financial position that will facilitate
beginning the next year which happens very quickly so when Dr. Noonan asked me
to do this I sort of thought well I don’t know how much sense
it makes to do a year presentation when we’re not at year end but so I’m going
to give you sort of a little bit of a highlight of what’s going on at the
moment so just to at a very high level when I got here I was a little
hyper about the time of year and so we spent a lot of time and peep the staff
here has been so terrific getting all the data and the information and looking
at where we are and there’s still many many moving parts I don’t have a
number for you tonight but I do feel very comfortable that the school
division is going to end in a good position so that is a good thing so here’s what
we’re doing we are closing the books you’ve got three funds the operating
fund by far the more important but all three are combined what you look at in
many respects you’ve able each one has to come in at a in a positive good
position as you know the activity in finance continues we’re still making
payrolls we’re paying bills we’re we’re cleaning up a lot is going on what will
really end this year is going to be the audit the auditors have been in they’ve
done all their preliminary field work and they will be back again in September
and presumably they will wrap up the audit sometime in September perhaps
October and I believe last year you got the audit report in December but we will
have updates on on what’s happened here in the interim so here’s what we’re
doing and we have a number of employees teachers in particular 10 and 12 month
staff that have elected to be paid over 12 months rather than over the 10 or 11
months they work so what yet what will happen is in July and August we’re going
to be make we’re going to be making payrolls and payments to people that
charge back to this current fiscal year so that
needs to be accounted for in your year-end calculations hourly staff are
paid in arrears so people who’ve worked at the end of
June will be paid in the middle of July so that has to be calculated and brought
back people leave the system and they have leave payouts that will happen after
the year ends but needs to be charged to this year we have commitments and when
you know you’re going to spend some money you do a PO and you encumber it
and so you’ve set it aside for a particular purpose things change you
know the amount of the purchase may change you may decide you’re going to do
half of it you may start it it’s not working you want to do something else in
any event you have to go through all of these commitments or encumbrances to say
which one’s really are not needed which ones can be
liquidated and with the balances returned to the ending balance and then
you have state payments they come in very late as a matter of fact the
sales tax we’re estimating the last three months at the moment so that will
all have to come in over the summer and be charged back so there’s a lot going on a
lot going on so here’s what I think we can say with a lot of confidence
we’ve done a lot of work a lot of estimating and I am very confident that
this school division is going to end the year pretty much where you expected to all year
you’ve gotten quarterly reports and I would say I could give you a number but
I know it’s wrong I mean I have no idea what the real final number is so if
you’re going to look at an estimate the best estimate is your last one which was
third quarter and that was ending the year with approximately one hundred and
fifty thousand dollars that would go into your ending balance it will be
different than third quarter I mean there’s no doubt about it in
summary we have year end activities going on they’re all on track I feel
we’re going to be where we need to be at the end of the year and while I’m not
giving you very detailed information I hope I’m giving you some comfort that
we’re doing what we need to do so if you have questions I’m happy to answer them
well I’m happy to try. My questions anyone Mr. Castillo? Ms. McLoughlin
is there anything that you need that you don’t have to be doing what you need to
do in getting up to speed. Um I need to be more skilled with with your financial
system but that is something that you know that’s not something that you can
do there is great staff here and I really feel that we are going to and one
of the things we’re doing is we are meeting to figure out who’s
doing what and and who can do different things so we’re having discussions if if
we shift some things around I think we can create some capacity that we
haven’t tapped into so at the moment I think I think we’re going to be good I
really do and if something changes I will be at Dr. Noonan’s door in a
minute. Keep us posted thank you. Any other questions
Mr. Lawrence? You know everything you said makes complete sense and you know
it’s not even June 30th yet I guess the real question is you don’t have the
numbers now audit you know auditors come back in September we get the audit in
December but when will you be back to you know tell us how we did at the end
of the year. I think that by the probably September is really realistically I
think there can be there can be updates like this one where we can say to you we
we’ve gotten through July or midway through July and and this is where we
are the farther we get through the summer obviously the closer is going to be they
don’t close the books until after the auditors are finished which is it’s just
that the accounting method that the city uses and others other counties do the
same but it just doesn’t close until you’ve gotten all of your financial
activities completed but it can be certainly updated. Okay but nothing will
not be able to get done that needs to get done while we’re waiting for the
auditors. Oh no no no we’re going to open up 18 and just we’re already processing things for
18 FY 18 so no everything’s happening moving forward. Okay
thank you. We have questions others gladly welcome to falls church as well
tonight has been a night of welcomes to new folks who are helping us continue to
move things forward and we look forward to working with you during your tenure
while you’re here. It’s been a very very good experience. Yeah next will be a summer in
the city summer school and summer daycare update. Catchy right Summer in
the city stolen I thank you mister chair we’ve had an opportunity to talk a
little bit Miss High and I about some of the things that are happening with
respect to summer school and summer daycare and I’ve asked that she come and
give you all an update of what’s happening in our schools this summer
because you may get questions and people may ask you and it’d be good to have
that information so Miss High. We’ll be beginning summer school or summer
Academy and summer in the city as Dr. Noonan has said next week starting at
Jesse Thackeray it’s going to be a four-week program at Jesse Thackery at
mount Daniel and at Thomas Jefferson at Jesse Thackery we start on July 10th
through August 3rd and there we’re serving our students with disabilities
our English language learners and other students who need additional support the
focus will be on maintaining school readiness early literacy and math skills
students will be getting engaged in various team activities we will have
about 39 students who will be participating and we’re breaking the
students up into three classes to make sure we keep the classes pretty small
at Mount Daniel as you know we won’t be at Mount Daniel we will be serving those
students at thomas jefferson this summer and again that program will run july
10th through august 3rd so we will have thomas jefferson and mount daniel
students riding the same bus which will help with trying to save on transportation at
mount daniel we will have approximately 47 students attending and this will be
kindergarten and first grade students they will be doing a program that we
call RICU that many school divisions surrounding school divisions use which is called reading intensive care unit it’s really
a framework that’s designed to increase students reading skills and to develop
literacy skills during word work and writing as well as we’re using Lucy
Cochran’s writing with which the students really build skills and
increase some steam activities with that we plan to do some field trips with our
Mount daniel students as well as some enrichment opportunities during week
four of that program at thomas jefferson they really worked hard to create some
more problem-based activities this year they will do two or four it’s a
four-hour day for thomas jefferson they’ll spend two hours doing some more
literacy base and then the second two hours they’re doing enrichment and
they’re anchoring theres into student friendly teacher selected themes such as
The Amazing Race where they’ll learn about four different cultures throughout
the four week period they’re doing the earth is ground for survival where
they’ll be learning about student activities and garden planting around
student urgency for protecting the planet they’ll also do some history
lessons on the United States from the 1800’s to the present as well as
learning about American history and famous figures and we will have
around 40 to 50 students and that will be grades 2 through 4 our fifth graders
will be going to Mary Ellen Henderson this summer where they will be learning
about careers and doing some project-based lessons where they will be
learning about careers and doing steam activities they’ll deal with the
different sixteen clusters our students will also have an opportunity for our
eighth graders to visit the Arlington career center this summer
which a lot of times the students really enjoy each week they will learn about a
different project-based learning and then at the end of the summer they
actually have a career fair where they have chosen a career that they like to
highlight and they do a career fair where they invite parents and school
officials school board members to come and hear them talk about the career that
they are thinking about focusing on when they go off to high school or as they
focus on as they continue their career and even middle school and moving
forward and then at George Mason they’ve actually and Mary Alice let me stop back
go back a little bit Mary Ellen Henderson actually will start
their program July 5th they’re starting a little bit earlier to have a little
bit more time for those students to explore their careers and at George
Mason they opened up their online classes on June 6 so they’ve already
started to give the students from June 6 to August 24 to take online courses
which will allow them to actually complete get one one credit course for
this whole for the summer I’m in those classes are allowing students to
get new course credit course or credit recovery or for enrichment purposes
they’re both online as well as there will be some face-to-face opportunities
for students who need the traditional classroom setting standards of learning
exams will be offered for students who need the credit recovery the high C
online courses will be direct instruction and also provide feedback
online through conversation through our Schoology program we have approximately
three hundred and forty students who will be enrolled on online learning at
the high school this summer and 90 of those are some rollovers from second
semester where they’re finishing up some courses and then we will have
extended ESY at all of our buildings this year and in terms of daycare on average
Katie share with me there will be 120 children participating in summer
daycare grades 1 through 8 and there are some weeks when there are 249 students
who are enrolled and they will be doing field trips there will be swimming trips
to the Atlantis water park they are having special visitors
come in they’ll be of course morning and afternoon snacks but she’s got a lot of
creative activities going on for daycare this summer so seems like we’re got a lot of
great things going on in Falls Church and the students seem to be excited more
updates to come we’ll take a lot of pictures.
Any questions or anything Mr. Castillo. Thank you Miss High two questions anything pertaining specifically to English language learners in the summer? Every
program has invited all of our English language learners to participate and we
have ESOL teachers involved in all these programs but we really try to include
them in the steam related activities and just honing in on on the RICU at
our elementary schools and at the high school there the ESOL students are
involved in the more traditional classes where they can take the online classes
but the ESOL teachers are there with them for to provide additional support as
they need it. Okay thank you and the other question with respect to the
reading I see you our I see you really thank you but yes that thing um I keep
hearing that reading is a skill that not everybody acquires at the same rate
and how do you manage that I mean it sounds as if getting people to grade
level is a great goal but if some people acquire reading skills at different
rates regardless how do we manage how do we deal with that I mean it sounds as if
there are some students who they’ll they’ll start reading at some age but
it’s not going to be the same age for some as for others and just from a
larger programmatic perspective what is our approach to those variations among
students. I mean we look for different methods if you know materials that
we provide aren’t working for a specific student then we look for another method
we look for various Lexile we look at the different Lexile levels that we can
use for students we look for interest levels we may look for whether there’s whether
it be a computer adaptive program whether it be a using a Jan
Richerson model we just look for other types of skill base that we can
we are these four students on to just see if there are other types of reading
materials that we can use. And since we’re talking reading any Waterford
update? Um right now it’s still in beta as soon as Mount Daniel can get it for
them to use I’m sure they will try to use it I actually met with a company
today that showed me something that was pretty close to waterford it so I asked
them to send me a to send me a demo so that I can share it with the summer
school teachers at mount daniel so they can at least look at to see if that
meets their their need for Waterford but so we’ll see so hopefully we can find
something that will but so far we haven’t been able to find something that.
Well thank you for all your hard work and I think our summer programs are
really something to be proud of we’re making some
gains definitely. Any other questions and I agree with mr. Castillo we’ve
got a pretty full schedule of things are going on for our kids this summer and look forward to hearing updates as they go on through that next we’ll be talking
about (unintelligible) back to Dr. Noonan
Thank You mr. chair in your handouts this evening and posted on board Docs
you’ll find the school board budget or school board meeting dates for June 17th
to September 17th you can skip the word budget there and
what we have done is we have included in there through July August and September
one regular meeting and one work session meeting the idea again trying to gain a
little bit of discipline around meeting two times a month instead of having that
third one a month and making sure that we get information to you in a timely
fashion and that we’re ready ready to roll
the one thing you won’t see in here unfortunately is the retreat we have
been unable to find a date that can meet the needs of everybody here and the
dates that we’ve put out we’ve lost at least two people so it was suggested
that perhaps we wait until the January time frame when we have some new school
board members in to work with those new school board members and the members
that are staying which puts us puts us at a later point in time it’s just it’s
just been too hard to figure out a good Saturday that meets
everybody’s needs I don’t know how to I don’t know how better to handle that
than then just to say we weren’t able to find a date there are a couple of dates
that I would like to share with you tonight at the end specifically around a
public hearing that the City Council is planning to do on the CIP in addition to
a couple of meetings that they’re going to be holding with respect to the CIP
that we’d like to have some representation at each of those but this
would be the the meeting scheduled between now and the end of September my
hope is that between now and the end of September we can come up with something
that’s a little more robust in terms of the dates throughout the entire school
year and begin populating what some of those work session topics are going to
be and what some of those topics that are sort of standing items are for our
regular board meetings so you can begin to predict what’s coming and kinda
get a chance to see that visually so for now this is the schedule between now and
September. Are there any comments for our superintendent Mr. Lawrence? You said you had a
date for the City Council’s CAP meeting? I do I have a couple of dates that I
was going to put on your radar at the end of the meeting-Then they can wait
till then. Okay thanks. Mr. Castillo well I would just say that I would find
waiting until January to have a governance retreat to be I pick on
adjectives I guess unacceptable we have a new superintendent we have a working
relationship we have to develop and if we don’t do it with intention we’ll do
it by default and we’ll probably do it a lot worse that way so you know if we can
get 5 of 7 we get 6 of 7 but we’re going to be working on the triennial plan I
think we all agree our strategic plan needs some work and if we punt this
until January no shame on us so I would say take another look at the calendar
I’ve got one August 4th is a bad weekend otherwise
I’ll be I’ll be here but we can’t do this I mean we’ve had enough
lessons with our state of governance that if we if we do this then
I think that’s an abdication of our responsibilities aboard so. Other
comments So I’ll step into the fray Mr. Chairman
I agree with Mr. Castillo that a governance retreat would be a valuable
thing to do will be an exceedingly valuable thing to do I do think it’s
difficult to schedule stuff I know a couple of things went into the idea that
lets not proceed right now one is that we were going to use a facilitator and
well I take Mr. Castillo’s point quite properly that you know five is better
than none at least you know I know both bwp and the prior group when we
used the Virginia VSBA excuse me they actually wouldn’t do it unless we
had seven members so it would be a non facilitated session I also do wonder
about the relative ethicasy of doing a retreat where you know we know that
we’re going to have a new board in on January first that will at a minimum
include at least three new members so we’re going to need to do another
governance retreat then I’m not opposed to doing one this summer I’m just trying
to weigh the question of for me I don’t know that it’s my opinion that we would
be valuable to have a retreat with five members this summer when you know that
might be minority of the board in the future obviously there are a lot of
things that we have to do including the strategic plan but I that’s just my view Mr. Ankuma? I was going to say partly to
Phil’s point that I wasn’t I wasn’t sure it was more of a governance retreat as more
of a strategic planning retreat like things that have to be done things other
things that we have not a chance to tackle so and I’m very flexible
so I’m happy to move things around I mean I was pretty open for this and I
think it’s just it still needs to be done to allow the new administration to
sort of get moving so yeah in a sense I understand where Mr. Castillo is coming
from and and I would lean in that direction but I guess it’s so much sorta
hard to schedule so unless we pick maybe a weekday or sometime and be more
you know we get more radical in our timing but it would be nice to have it
before the year because the issues won’t change the members and the bodies may
change but I think the issues are still where the issues are so anyway my two cents. I like to the fact that we still have to work together for six more months even
those of us who are lame ducks won’t be here in January I think it would be a
great idea and I think it’s really necessary that we do have this retreat
so our lap the next six months go as well as they could possibly go that
doesn’t prohibit the new board from meeting in January for another retreat
and I the way I look at it you can’t have too many of those I think every time you get
to meet in that environment and that venue that it strengthens the board
and strengthens the relationship so I really would like to do a retreat and
then sometime this summer the sooner the better If you I know the last date that we
tried was about 20 miles and I believe that there was not a majority that was available keep looking I guess I guess I keep
working for maybe four Sundays in there – okay can I ask a question of the board
if I might which is if we have a trouble doing it on a weekend the suggestion was
just made we could do it on a weekday that might be easier for some it might
be harder for some is our weekdays in play or is it just weekends? I’m
pretty much open other than teaching summer school in July and it’s only for
three weeks so I’m free until the fifth of July I’m free after from the 28th
on until mid-august it depends if it’s local or if we
have to go someplace I have a couple weeks if it’s local I have a couple
weeks when all three of my kids are in camp so one of those weeks I can where I
can get a (unintelligible) as long as it’s local fine. I can with enough advance notice
take a day to if it needs to be a week nagging with notice can do that. Would
it be better to do noon to 8 o’clock at night? sleep in though. It’s underrated
for a weekday? Oh i’d rather do eight to two something or- Let us go
back at Mr. Chair with your permission we’ll go back and-Ya look at the individual weekdays and talk with (unintelligible) because I would think-But we can go into August if we need to? Yes. And I would just pile on here and say you know
I think we have this board has to make decisions about things like this so if
this board is committed to having a retreat then we should make that
commitment and follow through on it I look at this works the work session
planning and the frequency of meetings and I ask myself how we’re going to get
through doing reviewing a strategic plan if the board wants to do
that if the board wants to develop a work plan and triennial plan and indeed
is the board on board with meeting twice a month I don’t recall
maybe when I was gone we didn’t we made that decision I don’t know I’m not
aware of that but you know one of the first things we have to do if we’re
going to be a board is act like a board and make decisions as a board unless the
board doesn’t want to do that. I would agree with that in that I want to say
I thought that was the general tradition until the last three years three to four
years that we became almost a weekly meeting but I thought that was prior
time that the school board was more at least when I was on City Council school
board met way less frequently than the city consultative which I will say was at least potentially twice maybe a third time in a month that that so I
think that’s kind of where this what
Dr. Noonan is talking about as trying to
making the effort now granted I think their flexibility needs to be there that
if we have to go more than two meetings we would have to do but that I
think it’s trying to get back to what used to be and you’ll correct me if
i’m wrong you have been on longer than I have that you that it may have been more of a
more frequency but to my knowledge I thought it was at least like twice a month type situation for the school board. Yeah no in the past we had two business meetings a
month and we had a work session and then in 2014 we changed that because we found
that work sessions were actually more useful than the business meetings so
that’s why we went to the business meeting was the first one and the the
other two were work sessions but yeah it was always three times a month
it just we also tried the odd little you know 45-minute work session in advance
of the two business meetings which also didn’t work out so well which was
another reason why we went to the two business meetings a month. Well and I think we should meet when we should and not when we shouldn’t so you know I look at
this summer and I think if we have some of this front-end front loaded stuff
maybe a little more and then maybe there are times it’s a little less so I
don’t believe me I don’t want to meet for the sake of meeting but I do think we should take an inventory you know especially with Dr.
Noonan coming on board the rules of engagement with him the tone that we
want to set with him a lot of these things I think will take some work so if
we if we can get it done in that time that’s great but I do think if we don’t
approach what we do with intentions sooner rather than later we will not
only fall back on old bad habits but create new bad habits. I personally
like the two meeting a month schedule I feel like since I’ve been on school
board I was under the impression we will meet we were to meet two times a month
possibly three but once again we are meeting four times a month for
marathon meeting times and to me it seems like I don’t understand why a
small school district like Falls Church City can’t just meet twice a month and
address the issues that we have Fairfax County doesn’t meet this often and
they’re a lot bigger than we are and so I just I like this I think the two
meetings a month it’s a nice rule of thumb and if something comes up we have
an extra two Tuesday’s where we could schedule an additional meeting but I
like what I see right now. I second Margaret. I third
Margaret I would say as well mr. Castillo raised the point that we ought
to make decisions as a board I think this is the opportunity to talk about
that in terms of whether we’re going to try
meeting two sessions a month for the course of the summer and I think we can
do it if we have enough discipline about meetings we try to walk the walk as I
think mr. Castillo is urging us to do now it may not be possible we might need
a third meeting a month but I hope it won’t be possible for much the reasons
that mr. Lawrence said earlier it’s not just our time when we meet we draw in a
whole bunch of staff and when staff is here they’re not with their families and
they’re not doing other work that they could be doing so I think it’s a
valuable effort to try and do two meetings a month and if we’re going to
run that experiment than during the summer seems to me the time to do it
because we could we can start to cement our steps in the right way we build a
cadence that will then carry over I would hope when the more busy time of
September October November comes to play so I’m certainly supportive of the
notion of trying to meet twice a month during the course of the summer and I
urge any board member who feels that’s not a worthy effort to say so we certainly
can have the discussion right now. I also like to add though meeting twice a month
frees us up to me with our liaisons and get do more school related events that
we normally might not necessarily attend so when you have a meeting every Tuesday
and you have you know family obligations and work obligations you’re less
inclined at least I am I’m too tired to go to get to attend things so it’s
important for us to be at that we wouldn’t like I said we would normally
necessarily go so just had to add that.. Mr.Lawrence. Yeah I would just in response
to what Phil said I would just I’d be happy to try this for the summer we just
need to figure out what do we want to get done for the summer and how does
this schedule let us do it I mean that’s what it really comes down to is it’s not
a question of is it two meetings a month versus three if we can get what
we need to get done in one and then the next time we need three
okay fine but what do we want to get done let’s talk about how many times do
we want to meet because that’s kind of meaningless unless you know what you
want to accomplish. And I would say as my employer calls it BAU or business
as usual is I am not against meeting twice a month and if we don’t have to
meet twice a month we have to meet once a month that would be great but you know
we have three missions three jobs policy and strategy hire a superintendent and
develop a budget the budget that’s going to come although we always talk about
when you do a budget earlier we just hired a superintendent we have not had a
discussion with the superintendent about how we’re going to work with him I think
that’s really important I don’t know what the superintendent
you know dr. Noonan has been spending time getting familiar with our division
I don’t know what his thoughts are about the strategies that we’re developing
whether it’s adequate maybe we can punt for a year and stay with what we’ve got
more or less or whether he wants to do a big rip and replace and do something
much more focused I don’t know but you know in prior years I think we stick
with our strategy and work plan documents mostly by tweaking them on the
margins and I think some believe and I’ve come around to this that we could
do a better job on our planning and if that’s the case maybe we can do that in
two meetings a month but we’re certainly going to have to do a lot of work up
front and do our homework and get inputs into dr. Noonan and to each other so we
can move this thing along expeditiously so we have a plan in place by the time
school starts so I think that’s doable but you know we’re basically in July now
so we’re talking about we have four meetings before school starts so you
know if we can get our governance house in order get our rules of the road with
Dr. Noonan in order and get our strategy and work plan in order in four
meetings then let’s do it but if not then let’s be clear eyed
about that and adjust because otherwise what will happen is we’ll keep the
status quo and make it up as we go along. Any additional comment so mister Reitinger? Not to talk overly I think I agree with everything mr. Castillo just said
it is a heavy lift we’re sort of we’re a little bit crosswise with the
hiring timeline because it’s great to have dr. noonan here for the summer
but it means we’re going into June July August or the times we try as mr.
Castillo said to get the strategic plan and work plan done for the year but if
there’s it’s hard to say you had adequate opportunity to go through and
figure out all of the changes that you would like to make or if whether you
want a number of changes it feels to me like having as mr. Castillo said hired a
superintendent and the budget not really coming up again significantly until
September that the policy is the big piece and we really got a couple of
major lifts for the summer and one mr. Castillo mentioned which is the work
plan and strategic plan document the second I think is to is the facilities
question and we’re moving at a pace we’ve got the resolution on for today
but that’s not going to stop there’s the TJ issue and we’ve talked about the need
to have a an omnibus facilities plan if we’re going to get this done in four
meetings and I was going to raise the strategic plan when we had the forum I thought we were going to have a little bit of a forum tonight
rather than just deciding to have a forum but I think the big issue that
we need to get done as quickly as possible is the strategic plan and I’d
suggest that we would want to go in to our next meeting with some proposals
from the superintendent and unfortunately that’s a bit more of a
work session discussion so it’s difficult to fit in and we know we ran
up against last year the deadline to get the strategic plan done I think it is
going to be a tight window to try and get that done I freely admit that but I
think we can be more efficient if we show more discipline as a board so I
would suggest that we have a proposal from the superintendent to look at if we
can if it’s appropriate for a meeting topic or our work plan topic but what
the schedule looks like for the summer I think the most important thing is to
figure out what the schedule looks like forgetting the strategic plan and work
plan done by September before school starts and what the schedule looks like
for tackling the facilities question so that’s the long and the short of it I
mean we veered into a substantive discussion from a discussion of meeting
dates but they are as mr. Castillo said joined-at-the-hip and it’s impossible to
set one without talking about the other. I don’t want to put you on the spot
dr. Noonan but where I mean you presented four meetings as we started our
meeting so do you think we can do all this in four meetings or where if you’re
in a position to respond where are you at in terms of our portfolio of issues?
Yeah I really actually see three things that need to be well four things that
need to be done this summer and I don’t think all of them are inclusive in your
work sessions or your regular meetings but presumably or presuming or making
the assumption that the bond referendum is on the ballot you know the big lift
for us is going to be doing a capital campaign and getting
out there and talking with people and you know being on the street and
knocking on doors and handing out grip cards so I think that that’s going to
take up a lot of our time so I think that that’s going to be an overarching
thing that’s going to kind of lay on top of us
I think the triennial plan is another big piece that we’ve got to get taken
care of on July 7th I have an administrative retreat with the
administrative team and one of the topics of conversation is the triennial
plan I’m not ready to suggest that we’re going to rip and replace I do
think that there are some things in there that work really nicely
starting with the pillars of sort of how you’ve outlined what are the important
pieces and components of it but frankly as I read it it feels more like a work
plan than a strategic plan so one of the things I’d like to do is engage the
staff at some level around how do we become more strategic and what does that
look like I don’t know that it’s necessarily going to functionally change
what the document itself looks like but it is an opening conversation for us on
July 7th to begin that work I would suspect that by July 18th my hope
is that we can bring you some semblance of a draft or an idea of where we’re
going with the triennial plan that also happens to be the night that dr. Cox is
going to present the special ed report so it’s going to be a big night for
conversation the third is the superintendent evaluation I need to
bring to you a working document that for your review and acceptance for how I’m
going to ultimately be evaluated and then lastly sort of the idea of this
facility’s master plan and I certainly don’t want to I don’t want to punt that
because I think it’s important in the context of the conversation around the
GM MEH discussion but I just don’t I don’t know if we have the resources
necessary this summer to get that master plan done in a way that really makes
some sense what I’m going to present tonight as part of the conversation or
to share with you as in board Docs is sort of what the thinking is about how
we’re going to how we’re going to maneuver over the
next five years to seven years with respect to TJ and Mt. Daniel as Mary Ellen
Henderson continues to grow and as George Mason is rebuilt so that will
carry us for a while but not for very long so I think it needs a much longer
view than what I’ll share tonight but I don’t know that I that we as a staff can
get that done in the summer so anyway capital campaign triennial plan super
intense evaluation are the big things for the summer for me that and can I
get it done in four meetings not knowing how the workflow and pattern is
here and I think it’s in ambitious but I think we can certainly give
it a shot I think the fact that you all meet in August is unusual most of your
surrounding jurisdictional colleagues do not they usually take off August or at
least one meeting in August so I think the fact that we have a couple of
meetings to do some of this or an extra meeting or two in August gives us a
fighting chance but if it comes to the first of August
that we get to that work session on the 15th and we’re not there we have a
Tuesday after that we can have another work session too so that’s possibility this is the last thing I’ll say about any
of this I would hope that when we have our retreat this summer that we
would invite all of the school board candidates to participate I think that
would be a helpful exercise and inculcating whatever our board becomes
with a shared sense of values and understandings so I’m just throwing that
out there and if we can do other meetings with the candidates before then
I think that would be good as well so that they’re up to speed and can hit the
ground running with respect to governance principles I know the City Council does something like that they hold it that fall Church Episcopal
and the community is welcome to come in at 10:00 and they bring in people from
their other boards and commissions to be a part of the discussion so I guess
ideas a good one. Yeah I think it’s a great one and it’s
always good to have folks running to be on the board give them as many
opportunities to kind of learn the major topics and essentially how we operate
prior to joining so they can hit the ground running versus they’re getting
peas milk after November then they’re kind of that really quick months of
learning as getting a cramp a big cram session of learning stuff and then when
you hit the ground in January it’s essentially you’re right in the
heart of the budget season at that point so it is good I think to potentially
give them a little bit of more of an opportunity and learning time to
kind of know the ropes regardless of whoever ends up on the board they know
what’s going on topic wise and with regard to the meeting schedule I think
it is ambitious to try to do four and I think summary is the time to make that
effort that if we ultimately recognize that we can’t do it in four at minimal I
would like to make the effort to try to three meetings if after the summer we
recognize that we need that additional meeting I think we can make that
adjustment to do that I recognize that it is a ambitious and I think but I
think possible and as mr. Castillo suggested it definitely will take some discipline
on all of our parts to to when certain topics are coming up and to get
questions to the respective staff members in advance so that we can
continue the meeting the flow of the meeting during regular meetings and/or
work sessions so that staff is prepared and/or answered questions in advance or
have an idea of the questions that may be coming forward so that they can be
prepared opposed to trying to answer on the fly
you know definitely some of the times that’s going to happen still but to at least try to have
them prepared and ready in advance of the meeting will help on the efficiency
and moving the meetings forward as much as possible and in time wise I think
that’s a big part of it that we just have to be disciplined and I think if we
as a board buy into that and working with the staff and kind of giving them
that advance kind of preparation time for me that I think we can at least make
an effort this summer listen to the Dr. Noonan just now kind of listing
it off I actually am kind of whoa I don’t if
the least right now the two meetings I think going for at least making that
effort I think we should but uh just recognizing the fact that we may
have to add an additional Tuesday night meeting if we can’t get everything taken
care of but it’s good to hear that some work on the triennial plan is already
kind of in the works to start happening any other comments before we move on? Can I give you those dates now-Yes sir- Since maybe it’s a more appropriate to share them
with you now the Planning Commission is going to convene to consider the CIP
amendment on July 3rd and on July 17th and I’m hoping that we can get some
representation at that meeting I believe it’s at 7 o’clock or 7:30 but I can I
can verify I can’t be there on July 3rd so if someone else or a couple of people
could be there it would be important I think to have some folks there and then
the City Council has announced that they’re going to have a special town
hall meeting on July 18th that’s the night that we have dr. Cox coming and is
the first pass triennial plan so I’m going to work with the board chair and
Mr. Reitinger to figure out how we’re going to cover
that. Ss that the only night that they have an opportunity to do that kind of
recognizing that tues nights meeting my friends that I’m surprised they would make that effort to-And they’re going to- Have that something
thats has just gonna directly that we have a direct involvement with that
we’re not necessarily we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to be
involved in it. I mean so this is a town hall about the schools but I guess
they’re set up though for the referendum. I believe it’s about the referendum-On
a Tuesday night- Yes. When we’re meeting? Yeah so
that’s you here to be I’m not sure if it was I’m presuming
that it was the City council So let me speak with Wyatt tomorrow and see what we can do.
Okay any other questions or anything? Well
that was fun. Getting things accomplished getting things accomplished all right and next will be the GM MEH campus planning update Dr. Noonan. All right
Thank You mr. chair tonight my hope is that I can frame sort of an early
conversation for you about some potential reductions that could bring
the overall cost of the construction at George Mason down at this time
I’m not advising or advocating that we reduce the bond amount that’s being
requested at 120 million dollars which was passed last night as part of the CIP
by the City Council however I would like to sort of just generally gauge I think
your interest in a number of possibilities that could support our
work with the community going forward as we begin to share the importance first
of a new school and our desires to help make this as affordable as possible
while still serving the needs of our kids in our community at their at the
highest level so in the documents that you’re going to find tonight
you’re going to find a couple of things and the first is a document that’s
untitled but begins with a spread not a spreadsheet but I chart that has on the
x-axis potential savings potential reduction one option one two three and
four and five and down the y-axis things like reusing existing furniture
and some of those reductions behind that chart there’s a brief statement about
each of these items there’s also a space on the front page for new ideas that you
might have and then a column that’s blank on the front page called option 5
and that’ll be a place for you to kind of take notes and think about what would
your interest be so everybody got that in front of them you know what
I’m talking about mr. Ankuma good okay. Don’t worry about me. All right so
what I’d like to do is describe each each of these to you each of these
potential reductions to you as best I can and ask you to sort of independently
decide yes this is a good reduction no this is a bad reduction or in other
words to keep it or leave it and then I want to just sort of open it up to some
broader conversations about each of those one at a time
see if there’s questions to see if there’s consensus again it’s a super
high-level early conversation that we’re having but after having a good
conversation with Perkins Eastman over the last couple of weeks it really does
feel like there are some spots that we can potentially consider that may end up
saving some money down the line my hope is that ultimately when the bond does go
to referendum and hopefully passes that we will be able to say to the community
yes this is the bonded amount but we also are being really responsible on our
side to say you know as we build this we’re really going to try to find as
many places as we can to recapture some cost so that perhaps we won’t have to
bond that four hundred and twenty million dollars does that make sense as
a context and backdrop okay all right so so the first is reusing
existing furniture and that ultimately becomes part of the FF&E account the
furniture fixtures and equipment account it would be considered a soft cost as
opposed to a hard cost signifying that as Perkins Eastman says it you know if
you took a school turn it upside down and shook it everything that came out
would be considered a soft cost so the furniture would be reused and Perkins
Eastman has identified that the furniture costs are about four million
dollars so we are after our conversations we’re suggesting that
there’s possibility that we could reuse about a million dollars worth of
furniture and potentially reduce that overall cost and part of the
part of that algorithm also includes potential reduction of classrooms so if
we have less classrooms which is another cost reduction possibility we wouldn’t
need to buy as much furniture there’s an impact obviously to not buying brand-new
furniture one is that we’re using the old furniture it might be not
ergonomically correct it may be a little bit more difficult for teachers to move
around less flexible and space planning but what we could do is we could cull
through what we have and repurpose what we can of two million dollars worth of
furniture so so I’d invite you as I’m talking about each of these to write
down good idea bad idea here are some questions whatever in that
option five column so that’s the first one the second one is a little bit more
complex when Perkins Eastman developed their conceptual drawing of what the new
high school could look like they based it on the education specs that
specifications that we as Falls Church City Schools gave to them to utilize and
as a consequence of that from that Ed spec there were space assignments for
classrooms in the average classroom space I think is about 800 square feet
and with that decision they were able to take the 1500 number the one we’re
building the school for 1,500 kids and determine how many classroom spaces they
would need based on not only the number but also the programs that we have in
the school so it’d be ESOL classrooms special ed classrooms general ed
classrooms music rooms everything and they determined that we would need 46
classrooms in the new building to accommodate the 1,500 students that 1500
would allow for us at a space utilization rate of about 80 actually
that’s not true let me let me get to that in just a second
so the 1500 mark was how they built it so when they built it at the 1500 the
classroom space utilization would be at about 85%
which indicates that when we get to 1500 with those 46 classrooms there’s the
potential that a classroom that’s traditionally been used for five periods
a day might be used for a sixth period during the day not by the same teacher
so another teacher might flex in and flex out of the classroom but that is
with all 46 classrooms being built when the schools open enrollment is expected
to be at 1,200 students right so when the school does reach that 1200 mark
potentially when it opens and as designed with the 46 classrooms we’d be
at about 71% space utilization rate that is a very very as far as industry
standard goes that is a very low percentage of utilization of the space it leads to a student yield by classroom of 0.038 so if you took the
total number of classrooms 46 and divided it by 1200 you would get point
zero three eight the higher that number the more space there is just remember
that that’s the that’s the sequencing of the numbers so the surrounding
jurisdictions of Fairfax County Public Schools Arlington Public Schools
Montgomery County Schools have an average yield of students of 0.027
so that means for every four students that they have in a classroom we would
have three students in that classroom it’s probably another way to think about
it so if we have a class of twenty their class is going to be that that many more
students they’re going to have about eight more students in that classroom so
if the decision were made to reduce the number of classroom spaces by 10 let’s
just say we went from 46 classrooms to 10 we could achieve new state
significant savings and a new student yield at 1500 would be 0.024 students
per classroom so it’s actually more constricted than what Fairfax County
Arlington County and Montgomery County has so it would be less space per
student than what the surrounding jurisdictions do there is some room for
movement in this number that could potentially retain more space if
possible to meet the academic needs based on our Ed specs
that we’ve provided so if so one of the suggestions that has come up in the
conversation with Perkins Eastman is perhaps to reduce the classroom number
to four instead of ten do it by four so you could reduce by one English language
arts one social studies one mathematics and one world language classroom if we
were to reduce by four once we got to that fifteen hundred number our
classroom yield would be 0.3 one students per classroom that’s still
greater than the surrounding jurisdictions still provides a little
bit more space than those surrounding jurisdictions and that in the end
might be a good thing for .031 sorry there’s a
zero missing in there point zero three one thank you so the
impact of these reductions could indicate if we did all ten classrooms
much less flexibility in the academic program we’re going to have we have a
growing number of ESOL students we have a growing number of special education
students and that could be consequential down the line because those classroom
spaces typically are smaller and oftentimes are taken from larger
classrooms and split so if we were to take all ten we would lose I believe
some flexibility so an alternative solution would be to reduce it to four
and that savings would be about a million dollars if we did a ten room
reduction the savings is about 2.5 million dollars so there’s a significant
Delta between ten rooms and four rooms but I do think in the long term the long
haul if we’re really building this building for thirty years thirty to
fifty years I think ten rooms is pretty ambitious if you look at the out years
in twenty thirty twenty thirty one we’re getting into the 1350 range and so if we
go out beyond that which I don’t believe Weldon Cooper is done but if we got
into the next ten years we would probably thinking about that line of
best fit would be pretty close to 1500 so we’ve got a million dollar reduction
if for four 2.5 for ten the next is any questions about that one first pause
yes sir. Does that include art spaces as well cause he did mention like a few of the
subjects but does that also include art spaces? It would not include performing
or visual arts so thats a good question. So if you normalize our class sizes
in our teacher loads does the idea of smaller classes drive some of the
differences between our division and neighboring ones in a way
that we could go the direction of cutting a certain number of
classrooms but by implication that we’d either mean larger class size or
relocatables? It’s a great question because our classroom space would still
yield even in that four classrooms with 1,500 kids 0.031 yield that still
puts us in the ballpark of that lower class size that you all have been trying
to achieve. And then I guess one other- Does that answer your question? Yeah and thank you and I
guess the other question is you know you can never be too rich too thin or have
enough space and things like this because you know on the one end you can
be criticized for over building but on the other end you can be criticized for
under building and we certainly have taken hits on that before you know I
I could see having an approach whereby we say we’re not so sure how many spaces
we need give us some options including plans for you know if we’re wrong what
would it look like how could we add in some you know could we pre build to stress
the ceiling so it could become a floor for something so that we can add space
to future-proof this to some extent I would feel more comfortable
making a calculated risk like that if we have a plan B baked into the building. Thank you for that I think that that
would be a conversation that we would have certainly on the front end but
absolutely when we got into the RFQ process and the RFP process about what
would that top level look like if we wanted to go up. Mr.Chair right do we want to talk about these individually or when we get
to the end? Maybe I go through all of them does that make sense okay all right so
the next one is decreasing the performance department size this specifically relates to things like the black box
currently the black box is designed to be 1,800 square feet and by contrast
just as an example Fairfax County has in their Ed specifications a 1200 square
foot black box we potentially could reduce our black box from 1,800
everybody know what a black box is okay so a black box is a theater performance
space essentially so it’s a place where theater students meet they put on
they work on their one acts work on other things and then can translate that
onto the stage so we could potentially reduce that to 1,200 square feet to
realize some savings additionally there are two currently in
the ED spec two teacher work rooms one is for Visual Arts and the other is for
Performing Arts what I’ve seen in other ed specs is that most of those
departments have one single work room so what we could do is we could cut one of
those work room spaces and then the Performing Arts space itself could be
and that is in the excuse me not the Performing Arts space but in the the auditorium the theater yeah could be
reduced in size from 6,000 square feet to something smaller in the mezzanine
the overall reduction in that Performing Arts area represents the overall arts
program represents about a twenty five hundred square foot reduction so I
think the big takeaway here is that we could reduce the black box by
600 we could combine into one and then the theatre space could be reduced that
overall footprint of the theater wouldn’t be reduced but the space going
up actually within the mezzanine would be reduced slightly so there would be a
smaller section potentially for seating there would also be some limiting
flexibility but one mitigating factor that was discussed with Perkins Eastman
is in their current conceptual design the way that they’ve set up the black
box is the backside of it actually opens up and
goes into the common spaces so remember the heart of the school that black box
was open would open to the heart of the school so students could actually
perform in the black box while students in that commons area were watching so
although it’s reduced in size it still be that feel or that look and feel of
having something bigger the next is the decrease in the auxiliary gym the
current design oh and by the way the decrease in the performing arts space
would be 0.7 million so about 700,000 the decrease in the auxilary gym space
based on the specifications we currently have it drawn at they have a draw at
9,000 square feet just by contrast fairfax county’s auxilary gym is 2,600
square feet arlington public is 5000 and montgomery county is 6,000 so it’s
bigger than the largest of the other three by three thousand there is some
potential for reducing the space that would align to our neighboring
jurisdictions to five thousand square feet it would create less flexibility
within our space and but as the population grows we still would have six
teaching spaces at the high school because what we could end up putting in
are the the partition drapes that you’ve seen so we’d have four teaching spaces
in the main gym we would have the auxilary gym and two spaces seperated by
those dividing curtains and currently we have four PE teachers at George Mason
High School and in a school where I was principal not too long ago we had 2,400
students and we had seven PE teachers so even if we got to the 1500 mark the
chances of us needing ever more than six teaching spaces would be unusual I think
even considering our smaller class sizes so there is some room I think in that
auxilary gym to consider the space that was drawn just by the way was also
keeping in mind community use and there was a basketball court or a regular
court with some seating on each sides and some bleacher systems on each
so by cutting it it would reduce the amount of seating potential within that
auxilary gym but it would bring us more into line with surrounding folks a
decrease in the athletics department size could
achieve some savings I keep forgetting this part the decrease in the
auxilary gym would be a million dollar savings just so I don’t forget it this
time the decrease in the athletics department size would also be
approximately a million dollars and where we are looking is coming down in
size on the teacher workrooms or the coach’s work room excuse me from 1200
square feet to something closer to what the teacher work rooms look like which
is 400 square feet that would potentially create some issues because I
the way that those coach’s rooms are used are for there’s many coaches on a
football team looking at film doing some things like that so reducing that into
four hundred square feet would be smaller but if we designed it
appropriately we might be able to accommodate that currently there’s two locker rooms at 6000 square feet with a small number of students that we
have at 1500 compared to these jurisdictions we believe other
jurisdictions that are surrounding we believe that those spaces could be
reduced to 5,000 square feet and that that reduction wouldn’t be felt for many
many years it’s unlikely that we would outgrow those by contrast our
neighboring jurisdiction fairfax county public schools for example has two
locker rooms that are 7,500 square feet but those two locker rooms are actually
split so there’s four locker rooms one’s a team locker room wanted for athletics
and the other is for regular PE ours would be combined at six thousand for
boys and girls so there’s potential for that that reduction based on our numbers
the next is eliminating the geothermal system and that is we were working with
Davis construction and Perkins Eastman and some of us got a presentation by
council governments not too long ago suggesting that the reduction of
geothermal would actually be less than what Perkins Eastman has
quoted which they’ve quoted 1.5 million dollars for a geothermal and council
governments did a presentation saying that really was about a three hundred
thousand dollar reduction the difference is without going into a whole lot of
scientific detail which I know not a lot about is that the three hundred thousand
dollar geothermal system is purely geothermal there’s no hybrid system or
hybrid parts to it with the hybrid system which Perkins Eastman has
suggested that we consider there are heating and cooling units that are
supplemental to the geothermal system for those really cold days or those
really hot days so one of the things that we could look at doing though is
going completely geothermal and kind of burying it through that really hot day
or that really cold day and reducing the geothermal to three hundred thousand
dollars or do the hybrid system at one point five I think eliminating the
geothermal system is potentially a short-term solution but in the long run
would be better to keep because it ends up paying for itself in nine years with
the operating costs at the building site so good short-term wind but potentially
a long-term cost. So just a clarification question a discussion so you’re saying that totally eliminating geothermal and going to a
normal gas electric oil whatever HVAC would save 1.5 million-Yes sir-If you
went solely geothermal that would save 300,000 or that would cut that? It could
potentially it could potentially cost $300,000 as indicated
by a cog presentation that we had recently however after talking with
Davis Andrea from Perkins Eastman had a conversation with Davis construction and
they felt like even the solely geothermal was a little bit more than
that so I think to err on the side of caution if we were looking at that as a
potential solution I would want to think of it in terms of a
about a half a million dollars for a solely geothermal system so we could
potentially save a million dollars if we did only the geothermal and no
hybridization that makes sense sort of? I’m having trouble following the numbers. Sorry-That okay. Okay do you want me to keep going okay all
right let me just say this it’s a difference of saving a 1.5 million or a
difference of saving 1 million okay the next the deferral of athletic field
improvements could achieve a savings of half a million dollars if we deferred
athletic field improvement Specifically on the baseball field it looks
like the baseball field is going to be a potential place for staging of equipment
and materials and if that happens there’s going to be some damage to the
baseball field so one of the things we could do is we could make the decision
just to reskin the infield to put a new layer of dirt down repair some of the
sod and continue to use the existing dugouts and if we were to do that we
believe that instead of doing a full replacement of the field that could
potentially save us a half a million dollars the next is the demolition of
the old George Mason high school site there are two schools of thought
to be considered here the first is that it’s part of our GMP that we pay the
3.8 million dollars to have the building torn down and have all the dirt work
done and the like and then we charge a little bit more for the land that it
sits on or we say to the developer whoever purchases it you
have to do the demolition and you have to do the dirt work and get the site
prep done to build your development whatever it’s going to be if we decided
to pay and then potentially sell the land for that much less commensurate to
the cost of doing that demolition if we were to pass that on to the contractor
or the developer we believe that we could find a reduction of 3.8 million
dollars there are some considerations to think about as you’re making these decisions
one is delaying the demolition of the building could create some potential
supervision issues for us not you know having that building there and not being
torn down there could be some transportation issues if we don’t do the
right you know roads and curb and gutter that go through the property of the new
site the if the developer delayed demolition and this would be a bigger
issue for us in communities drawing the practice field sits on where
the site of GM is now so we potentially could be out of practice site until that
demolition happened now are there solutions to that of course we
can work with Thomas Jefferson to see what the field use looks like for a year while that demolition is being done perhaps work with community use and
Parks and Rec to see if we can take parts of the field for fall sports and
in spring sports but it does create some operational issues for us but nothing
that we can’t I think overcome so those are all of
the ideas now let me tell you what they sort of mean in aggregate if you were to
do option one which would be everything except passing on the demolition of the
George Mason site we potentially could save six point seven million dollars
roughly okay if we looked at option two and that would be a four-room reduction
by the way four classroom reduction if you looked at option two we would do a
four room reduction everything else on the list and three point eight million
dollar pass on to the developer to do the demolition and that potentially
could raise ten point five million dollars in reductions for us option
three is the most aggressive savings and that would be approximately thirteen
million dollars the difference is that instead of four room reduction we would
do a ten room reduction which would realize us two point five million
dollars versus the 1 million dollars and the last option is option 4 which
does a four room reduction and keeps the geothermal in and that would get us to a
nine million dollar reduction so my hope is that as I was talking which was for a
very long time I appreciate your patience that perhaps you were thinking
about some of these different options and maybe making some notes and I would
invite the board to begin having a conversation about where are you where
are you on these reductions where are you with respect to your values in terms
of do we want to reduce classrooms do we want to replace all of the
furniture where are you with respect to your values in terms of geothermal and
athletics and the like and we are here to help answer some of your questions
that you may have so mr. Chair. Mr. Ankuma? Our deadline for giving you our
response. Again I think this is a really high-level conversation I don’t think it
functionally changes the amount that we would bond for unless that was something
that you all wanted to discuss as a board I mean we could you could make the
decision that in fairness and or in a spirit of collaboration for example you
want to go to the City Council and say you know what we think we really can
realize five million dollars in savings so instead of bonding for 120 why don’t
we bond for 115 I think there’s a there’s a risk in doing that and I think
the risk is that if something gets delayed the cost of construction could
go up there could be some some red herrings so it’s a long way of saying
unless you want to change the bonded amount I think we have a little bit of
time to discuss this I would want to have some resolution before we start a
capital campaign so that we can really hit the streets and say we know we
bonded for 120 million here are some things that we’re thinking about
reducing as part of our overall process that don’t impact the instructional
programming for your kids so even though we bonded for 120 million we don’t think
that we’re going to hit that mark that’s just a strategy thought. Thank you. Other
questions comments Mr. Lawrence? A couple things first on the geothermal I mean
you’ve got the asterisks that said you know pays it back in nine years but I
really do think you need to take that forward and make it clear that I mean
this is not a savings this is a cost you know unless we think our schools going
to last nine years I mean ultimately this is a cost not a savings on things
like decreasing gym size if you could find other numbers for us to use because
saying ours is 9,000 and you know Arlington is this and you know others are
that that doesn’t tell me ours is necessarily too big do we know
if there’s a right size or if it’s just what they could afford to build at the
time so I don’t know if there’s something else you know per student square foot or something that would say whether or not our number might be right and
there’s might be wrong or if there’s is right size you’re just saying ours is
going to be bigger than theirs doesn’t necessarily mean there’s is
right so I don’t know if there’s another you know you don’t the answer now
because if there’s another metric because it’s sort of if they’re going to jump off the roof would we. I believe okay if I respond? Let me I’ll add to that
and my question was in that regard was right fit for the Bull Run district
that we were participating in what are the normal gym sizes for what
conference we participate in I know right now where we are using in MEH is
undersized I believe so I that’s all would be more of my question for the
actual gym itself so that’s where at least well that’s my one question for
the the main gym part of it and I’ll hang on until other-Just a I don’t
think there’s any of these reductions were to the main gym so this is the auxiliary gym the problem with MEH is that it’s the main gym. Actually aux gym
I’m actually okay with reducing in size. Yeah. One of the things that I can do is
most two things the first is that the numbers that I gave by square footage
actually come from their educational ed specifications so essentially the belief
is that that’s their best fit for those programs based on what they know and
their kids need I don’t know that that’s an appropriate metric for what we need
so perhaps looking at and doing a survey of the other bull run districts that
have schools that are our size would be a better
better luck so I can I can do some comparisons there. I have a question
about the baseball field when you’re finished wait until Dr. Noonan finishes.
Okay multitask there so the baseball field is going to be the staging area
for the construction right? Potentially. Potentially and by this deferring field
improvements are just referring to the baseball field is that mean it’s not
going to be put back the way it was before the construction began? It’s a
great question it would be it would be put back in its current condition it
just wouldn’t be torn up re-sodded brand-new dugouts brand-new bleachers
all of that it would look no different than it looks today. And is that across
the board with all the other fields there’s going to be no improvement to well I
know the football field has to be replaced but the softball fields- The softball
field would be moving the tennis courts would be moving so so there there would
be new new facilities and-So everybody every other sport would have
new facilities except the baseball team? Correct. Okay I don’t agree with that but well i’m just saying this is just theoretical all this and its
potential something to think about so I just you know I I just I just want to
clarify that thank you. Good clarification. Sorry just one more thing sometimes
word choice really matters if you can figure out another way other than saying
decrease athletic department size it sounds like you’re cutting people in the
athletic department those two spaces I don’t think that’s what you’re doing
you’re just saying give coaches less space we have a very active athletic boosters and very active
liaisons to the athletic boosters so it is to watch your back. Gotcha.
Did you I’m guessing you did this but did you have you spoken with
like the drama teachers about the black box itself and what their input was or? I
did not but Perkins Eastman did as part of their their conversation I’ll be
honest that I haven’t vetted this these decreases with with a lot of people I
know that there’s a lot of legwork that needs to be done ahead of ahead of any
of these decisions but these these conversations did go on through Perkins
Eastman with those constituencies. Okay thank you. Oh thank You mr. chair I would echo what Ms Ward said about the performance the
Performing Arts Department socializing that with them as well as the Athletics
changes to see what’s feasible I think a couple of these questions are
financed and I would love to get some more finance input you know in
terms of a payback period of nine years I think some in the finance world would
say that’s not that’s kind of middling but I think that would be good to hear
from them I think the demolition of the GM site is
also in some respects a finance question is it better to borrow the money to
demolish it and get more money for the land in whatever way we do it or is it
better to not borrow that money and saddle the costs on the developer
understanding there are other factors too so I think that a couple of finance
issues thing issues there I think another interesting question and I don’t
know the answer to it is with respect to reduction of classes classrooms or
expansion options does geothermal by not having as much equipment in certain
places make expansion easier because you don’t have
rooftop units and whatnot so is there is there an expandability concept of the
element to geothermal that we need to bake into that downstream inquiry
I think re-using existing furniture is awesome so that’s what that’s when
right off the boot that I would say that there’s you put a coat of paint
on it or whatever but I’m all for that and I think so those are those are my
my thoughts there. Yeah I agree with the furniture I mean that’s something that
can be purchased at a later date when we’re more financially sound with the rooms reduction you
know sometimes we could be penny wise and pound foolish and I’m concerned
about you know when we do need those extra rooms what that cost would be
to do an addition I don’t know if there’s any way to determine that at
this point but you know that might be something because ten years from now if we
need this extra four rooms or I hope it’s not ten but because we need those extra
four rooms what is that going to cost us more than a million dollars and if so
how much more? Yeah I can I can give you an example of a 10 room addition is
about it’s about ten million dollars and so if you’re looking at a ten million
dollar in today’s costs at a five percent escalation over the next ten
years it would be significantly more expensive so I hear what you’re
saying about being unwise penny foolish but I you know just as we look at
potential that’s my input. I know thats why I raised that question. Mr. Ankuma? Look I’m gonna
go out there and ask this question are we under the gun to cut back on this is this you trying to do this is this are we getting any pressure to do this? I think I think on that front yes I think not necessarily I wouldn’t go as
far as saying pressure but yes I think on our side as long as we’re not
affecting the overall education program if there are ways that we can
potentially and I agree with Dr. Noonan I wouldn’t necessarily at this point put
the number that we’re looking at for bonding less than 120 million but if
there are ways that we can save a couple million dollars I think it would be not
only to for the council but I think towards the
citizens I think would look at look favorably upon that as they go to the
polls they recognize I think they all recognize that we’re going to that there
will be a tax increase to do this but if we can look at and give them some
options of things that we’re willing to do that won’t affect their students
education I think they would be look more favorably upon that and I think
having the conversation on the earlier side in my knowledge is to me it’s just
a conversation until we do the RFQ and kind of get a better sense of what we’re
actually going to be doing after the referendum but I think it’s all Lisa
didn’t let folks know that we’re at least thinking about it. Okay if it’s if that’s what we’re doing because committing to
any of this for me right now if my if I was asked to make a decision today it
would be no I wouldn’t back any reduction because we always seem to come
back to a certain number and I would hate to I’d rather we had a number
to your point go for the bonding oh well at least we try to get there and maybe try to get
the savings during the process rather than try to cut our nose to spite our
faces in attempt to get the ball passed only to find that we need this money
before so payment. I think this is a really good exercise
to get us thinking and it’s it’s you know it’s like when we do the
budget what can what can we get rid of what can we keep and it does
show that we’re thoughtful and not just being you know we just want to spend
money we don’t necessarily want to spend money if we don’t have to and I think
this goes a long way and I’m showing up. So thank you for that comprehensive
presentation Dr. Noonan a couple of actually number of questions the first one is
in the 120 million dollar figure that was presented that
presumed some degree of savings once you added all the soft costs together I
think you said its like six million dollars is that does that mean you’re
assuming that we do some of these things or is that already are these on top of
that reduction? These will be on top of that reduction actually we when we
looked at it if we were to take all of these reductions we could get the
community school hard cost to right around one hundred and two million and
the soft costs at about eleven million so it bring us in at about one thirteen
seven okay if we did all of this so that would be so the answer your
question is the one hundred and twenty gets us everything there there are some
reductions in there but not many these would be additional too. No but the
you that doesn’t make sense sorry or at least I’m not understanding it because
you said we’d be at if we took all of the reductions that we would be at the
total cost of what? About one thirteen but take out 1.5 from that
because geothermal is not in there so if we took geothermal out we’d be at 111
five. Well that’s a reduction of about eight million whereas the reduction is
thirteen million so that says to me that we are assuming that we’ll do some of
these things on the 120 million. And I apologize I don’t mean to be confusing
the thirteen million reduction is with the ten classrooms-Okay. This is with
four classroom reduction. Got it okay now I understand thank you so I’m going to just sort of go through each of these quickly for the reuse
existing furniture I’m going to join the Amen chorus except for mr. Ankuma who
doesn’t want to take any reductions I think we can live with old furniture for
a while I’m one of the things I’m more
cautious about is the reduced four or ten classrooms
I’m as close to heart over no on ten as I can possibly I think be four even four
makes me a little nervous because we’re the fastest-growing school system as mr.
Castillo said we’ve got a history of under building and the cost for expanding
as you pointed out dr. Noonan in the future is so great and you I think about
the experience of Wakefield in Arlington which was what built ten eight years ago
and now they’re having to expand it already because they’ve grown to three
thousand students so it’s not big enough anymore and they’ve probably got the
room to do it if we give ten acres for development we got nowhere to go but up
and unless we pre build for going up we’re not going to be able to do that so
if we’re even going to reduce four rooms I think we need to look at as mr. sharpe
as well as mr. Castillo suggested what it would take to pre stage that your pre
build the building so that we could go up on them without significant
additional cost might be something smart to do anyway I
think contingent on further discussion relatively comfortable with the next
three decreases of the performance Department and the two athletics
department issues not because I want to cut programs but because I think you
know we’ve got to the only guide we’ve really got to argue that we’ve got a you
know a bronze or a silver school system as opposed to a gold plated
school system is the comparable schools that Perkins Eastman looked at and so I
think I think we ought to look at places to reduce that will have a program
consistent with what Arlington or Fairfax County does unless we can really
make the case that our program is just different so you know if we’ve got
looking at our performance Department if you know 50% of our students are involved in drama where as 15% of Fairfax counties and I don’t have any idea what
those numbers are then we’ve got a strong case for a higher percentage and
I think we oughta we ought to look at it from that perspective the eliminate
geothermal I agree it is a financing cost but I just I think that’s a total
non-starter I want a the last thing I want to do is cut things that we can’t add in
the future that will add operating cost the geothermal only idea is an
interesting one and I think I want to know a little bit more about what the
what’re the temperature variances going to be in that sort of system but
it would you I think we obviously live in a city that wants to do green
building the more geothermal we get the better I know that’s important to some
on city council significantly and you know if we if we went geothermal only as
opposed to going all fossil fuels then we we might actually have a higher
easier to get a higher LEED certification because it’d be a more of
a Net Zero type building defer athletic field improvements something
I’d not like to do but you know if we had to have a 500,000 the demolition of
the old GM site that you know I hadn’t thought about before because it feels
like an easy 3.8 million my taking what mr. Castillo said about the financing
question I think you know it when I’ve talked to people about this everyone
seems to think it’s better to move the cost to the developer because then
you’re bonded amount is less it affects your city’s financial rating less and
you know the payment you get from the developer comes later so it’s better to
not get the payment later and not bond now but I hadn’t actually thought about
the fact that the practice field and community one sits on something that
couldn’t be used and getting the access road built might be a problem you know
one of the things I wonder is if you defer the demolition does that mean you
you can’t actually build that practice field and so you you know you have to
cut somewhere else and it’s in the practice field so you have to build the
practice field later which I think might be a you know if we’re gonna talk seven or
eight years in the future that might be more of an issue so that I always like
that now I’m not sure I like it I just theres some more questions there so
that’s kind of where you know I feel about all the things I think there’s
easily some things that we could do there even if it’s not necessarily what
the proposed reductions are right now and I would like to see the notion of
pre building for future expansion if necessary included. Okay
and so I agree with what a lot of my colleagues have already said I will (unintelligible) by saying I know that the comparison to other districts was very
powerful to the City Council members that was it made a big impact on them
seeing where where we could possibly where we are building bigger than our
neighboring districts have and I think they’ve really seen that as clear places
that we can shave I don’t necessarily agree with that because I don’t want to
build smaller again to Margaret’s point I want to be penny wise and pound
foolish I don’t want to build small and then build again ten years and that’s
not a wise use of our money I would absolutely reuse our existing furniture
and with everyone who says reducing classroom size well to me it makes a lot
of sense to bring us in line with utilization that other districts have I
don’t we’re facing a lot of pressure at Thomas Jefferson right now we don’t know
if we’re gonna need to move fifth grade someplace we’re going to shift eighth
grade and you know I don’t know what we’re going to do but 1 million dollar
savings doesn’t strike me as a great savings if it means we have to spend ten
million dollars elsewhere unless I love the arts and the athletics
department I’m less concerned about cutting those down a little bit just
because it does bring us in just parity with neighboring jurisdictions I
wouldn’t eliminate geothermal I think that’s everyone else’s point that’s to me its a
a non-starter and the demolition of the old GM site I was with Phil I thought obviously we’re not going to pay for that and totally pass it on to someone else but I wonder what it’s like to have an abandoned building right next to our
school so an abandoned building seems to me like kind of a security risk having
this big building sitting there until somebody decides to tear it down and who
is responsible for securing that site maintaining that site making sure that
people aren’t living in that site that makes me a little a little concerned and
then my overall question is how many pennies on the tax rate does this cut
really save so if we can take the ball if we can let’s say they use a nine million dollar number if we can do that
how much does it really save us in the long term what does that translate into
taxpayer dollars? I don’t know the answer- that is like a quarter of a cent that I don’t
like but I can unless it I’m less inclined to cut anything but if it’s a
penny on the tax rate that it that’s meaningful to people. I can find that out.
Okay. And I’ve been (unintelligible) but um welcome Mr. Holmes to your first
official meeting with us as a student representative and hopefully you’ve been
taking copious notes and now I ask you if you have any questions or comments
about these reductions as well. About the rescanning the baseball field does
that also include the grass like on the baseball field as well and will we be
changing that at all? That’s a great question
the rescanning would happen and then any grass that was torn up would be replaced repaired and replaced. With the same type of grass? Yeah so if it’s Bermuda it
would be Bermuda Any other comments or questions. Hi I just came in at the tail
end of what Erin was saying and I’d like to also comment on that demolition
it makes me really really uncomfortable to have an abandoned
building next to a high school middle school I just think we’re asking for
trouble and I don’t know how that’s going to affect our deal with the
developer I think it might just end up being a loss so I not just I just don’t
like the idea I don’t think it’s good but other than that I’m done. I just for the
record want to say might as well a blanket no reduction mine is for more for I
want the money up front and let’s try to get the savings as we progress but I
hate to go in asking for less because it’s a lot more difficult getting more
when you need it you know so anyway that’s what I’m coming to.
I’d rather have it up front and make sure we can say something
to go in with less and then come back and go oops you needed another five
million which is an act of Congress to get back. To mr. Ankuma’s point the
other thing that I think we’ll be able to realize and I’m not going to I’m not
just not going to suggest for a second that we’re going to value engineer this
building by looking at you know cheaper materials but I do think the way that
this has been quoted is with some higher-end finishes and I think we want
to keep our finishes nice but I don’t know for example that we need terrazzo
tile through the whole building or we need you know that the highest end
finishes in our restrooms so there may be some other savings that we can capture
along the way that will that will be helpful to to our cause. As I’ve looked
through for me the reuse of existing furnitures in the brain or anything I think we
should potentially look at opportunities to do that for me if we look at the
classroom reduction which I agree that you know me may not be the smartest
thing but it would be I would only be comfortable if we would look at it if it
worked to be four with both the performance performance departments and
with the aux gym I think looking at those reductions as long as they’ve been which
sounds like you said not (unintelligible) has spoken with those respective
departments and they are generally okay with that I think those are a good areas
to look at for reduction with the athletic departments space decrease
I don’t know if I would go as far as down to four hundred square feet but I
think that’s a good area to look at for possible reduction as well and as I
asked you a second ago with geothermal I think some of the Arlington schools when
they were built I think they may have gone all geothermal so I think it would
be good to of asking and talking with some of the folks there to see how going
all geothermal has been for them and the hot times that they’re going to be in
school as well as when it’s cold generally depending on what we have to
do with the athletic building improvement postponement I would i am
generally okay with that as long to prepare what may have been damaged during
staging and do some level of of what’s existing there some cosmetic things to
to get I get where Margaret’s coming from a little bit with with some of the
other new facilities that may come with the Athletics department but I think if we
can do some things to a cosmetic for the for the baseball stadium would be
good and with the thought plan potentially down the road doing a little
bit more in the way of work there and with the demolition what miss Gill had
discussed I hadn’t necessarily thought about it that way but yeah I probably
have some concern with having an abandoned building next to us as well
because that would be additional cost that we just did talk about of securing
that facility to make sure that our potential homeless folks haven’t
potentially moved in there as becoming a space for them but then also that
additional potential cost for patrolling by securitas and those folks
of making sure that that space is secure so I would have some issues with that but I would
also look talked with this more of a financing issue of just visit that
something that we would make a huge dent in the overall what would get for the
land down the road I don’t know if it would be that’s more of a finance
question for me but I I think this is a great starting point to of where we are
if looking at potential ways to to do some savings but again I want to repeat
that I think we should for the referendum purposes do the full amount
that has been discussed of 120 million and not necessarily go into it reducing
them because as we all know with a project that I will not name has had some issues along the
way that has we’ve had to go back and ask for additional funding for it and
that’s something I do not want to do with this project I want to make sure
that we bond enough money to do it but if we have if we find ways to do have
have some savings I think that’s I think overall a good thing for the community
to know that we’re making the effort to do that as well but we
definitely I think need to go into it and make sure that we are bonding enough
money and again with looking at finishes to no we don’t need the the Taj Mahal
of finishes using the good ol’ fairfax county governments the terms from my days
out there but I think having making sure that we use things that are not
necessary Taj Mahal pleasures but good finishing that was going to give us that
that 30 to 50 year time that we were talking about this building to last. Any other
just saying final comments before I turn it back over to Dr. Noonan.
So I think I think what I heard was on some of these there was pretty clear
consensus again I’m not going to pull the board these are just sort of
beginning conversations but I do I do want to say while Perkins Eastman had a
conversation with the performance departments and the PE and athletic folks
I’m not sure that they talked with them about the potential reductions so I feel
like I have an opportunity now and an obligation based on the feedback that I
heard tonight and sort of dig in a little further with
them and so I’ll do that I’ll also try to get some information about the
geothermal around some questions that came up with respect to that I’ll also
see what the possibilities are about a pre build on the top floor to see what
the possibilities would be if we needed to go up what that would do
I’ll ask Arlington about their geothermal find out what nine million
dollars looks like on the tax rate see about temperature variances and the like
so I’ll take I’ll take these that I felt like they’re at least
with some consensus around and dig a little deeper and continue sort of
looking at what does it what does it mean at a real meaningful level for our
kids does that seemed like a reasonable next step? I just add you were coming from a good place in the sense that if we could live with four or
five degree variations if it doesn’t rain in the hallways I think our
students and teachers (unintelligible) Can only go up or down. Thank you.
Thank you Dr. Noonan and we’re going to move on to business action information
7.01 resolution 02-17 RFP GM MEH site. What you have is a proposed
resolution for the board to look at as you all may recall in the past when you
did another construction project which shall remain nameless there was a
resolution that was passed by our board and sent over to the City Council City
Council at this point has now done first reading of the revised CIP and bond
language and they are asking that we adopt this resolution as our official
request to move forward with the bonding for the high school so I don’t know if
you want to read it how you’d like to proceed with this I think everybody’s
probably had a chance to read it at this point but we are looking for we are
looking for consensus and signature from everyone if possible on the resolution.
Thank you Dr. Noonan are there any questions comments about the
proposed referendum language Mr. Lawrence? One question
when was this version posted because this is significantly different than
what we had earlier and it wasn’t posted very long ago. That is correct
we’ll find out exactly what time it was posted i’m not unfortunately but perhaps
4:30 or so and we apologize for the late posting to be honest we got some
feedback from some board members asking some questions about some of the
language that quite frankly was mirroring more closely the former
resolution that was passed by the board that went with the Mount daniel project
and for clarity we really felt like we needed to go back and clean up some of
that language so this wasn’t posted until 4:30 additional comments or
questions? Mr. Lawrence and you all got this in an email for me earlier
I mean my main question is what is the city’s plan to pay for this I mean we
have gone through this now for three and a half years pre-planning it years ago we
came with you know a hundred and twelve dollar mil a hundred and twelve
million dollar figure and we went through and through and through and we
were told that was too expensive now it’s at 120 what’s what’s changed I mean the city
have they changed their financial policies their debt ratios their
paybacks I mean and like I told you all what we’re doing here is asking the city
to borrow 120 million dollars in violation of multiple policies so I’m
just trying to figure out why would we do that
and our discussion frankly today is got me more concerned we’re talking about
you know taking off classrooms and reducing this and here and I understand
the idea of savings but it feels like we don’t know what we really want to build
and we have no idea how to pay for it so I’m trying to figure out why we’re
trying to ram this through and I’ve been involved you know from the Planning
Commission days trying to push a new high school
nobody wants a new high school more than me but I also don’t want a referendum
that gets rammed through and either barely passes or fails because we’ve
only got one chance so that’s my main concern here is I don’t think we’re
ready for this. We’re going to start with Mr. Ankuma and then to Mr. Castillo.
To Mr. Lawrence what I would say what we’re doing was asking for a new school I don’t
think it’s our job to worry about the numbers yes we have to worry about the
numbers but we’re not Hate to make that decision. I think that is a
City Council decision. And they’ve run numbers that they’ve come up with, performance or whatever and smoothing
the debt service curve and all that, I think we leave that to them. I don’t think
there’s anybody around this table, Deirdre, Dr. Noonan, any of us, who can answer that
question about how it’s going to get paid for. I think that is a City Council question,
not our question to answer. Ours is to educate the kids. That’s where I’m coming from, or at least that’s the way I see it, so that will be my response. Mr. Chairman? I respond to Mr.
Lawrence and Mr. Ankuma by saying that we, whatever we do, we have to do
within the realm of the long-term sustainability of the city. So we do
have to educate our children, but I do think we have to be mindful of the costs.
And I think, certainly going forward, we’re going to have to exhort the
bidders to be very clear-eyed about what our financial trade-offs are going to be.
You know, with respect to Mr. Lawrence’s point, I think, you know, what has changed?
I think what’s changed is we’ve done a lot of work, some of it cumulative, that
makes the case for what we have, what we need, and what it will cost. I think
at this point, we have about as much information as we’re going to get, and I
think we know the parameters. The Perkins Eastman work defines, on a high level,
what we’re looking at. And now it falls to us to say here’s where it is,
we vetted it thoroughly, here’s what the business case is going to be, it will
entail an upfront bond issue, and here is the development
program that’s going to partially offset some of those costs. So I think, you know,
we have studied this about as thoroughly as we can, and I’ve heard from
people in the community who have basically said pursue this very course that
we’re looking at now, that if we wait till we have metaphysical certainty
about every single aspect of this program, then it’s not going to get off
the ground. We know at a high level what the all-in cost is going to be. There’s
a lot of finance input that’s gone into how you finance it, 30 year bonds
versus 20, what the income stream will be coming from the development, and when it
will hit. And I think we make the case to the voters about what all of this
information looks like, and we then work with them, and with any luck we get
their input on November 4th is it? Seventh. Okay. And so I think it’s really
this is, if we’re going to make this a reality, this is the next step in the
process. And, you know, it is, we don’t know exactly what we’re getting yet, but we
have a good sense of what it will look like on a conceptual level,
and what we need now is to have the wherewithal to make this happen. So, you
know, I certainly would like to say I know exactly this is what we’re going to get
when, and here’s where the STEM labs will be, and here’s where the main stairway
will be, but I think in terms of the incremental approach here, this
is the next step that makes the most sense in keeping this process going. And
it is within some daunting financial, you know, we have to thread the needle between getting what we need and maintaining our city’s financial
viability. And that’s going to be a very challenging exercise but, you know, the
alternatives on either end are the end of the city as we know it. So I think we
finally got ourselves to a place where there’s consensus that this
can be done, and now it’s time to engage the community and ask the voters for
approval to proceed on a course that will allow us to bring all the work
that’s gone into this to a successful end. So that’s what I think has changed.
It’s not perfect. It will be a lot of work. There will be a lot of questions
about what the financing looks like and what the timetable for development is,
but I think we have processes that are continuing that will help
get us to that point. Yeah, no, I think on the school side, we have defined it as
much as it can be humanly defined. I mean talking about, you know, taking away some
classrooms here and there, that’s it. It’s really the financing that I think we are
not even close to being able to go out and talk about capital campaigns.
I mean, I’ve run multiple canvassing campaigns for referendum and for national races. You need to know what you’re
going to go out and tell people. We don’t know right now. I mean, what it comes down to isn’t do you want this school. Everybody wants the school. It comes down to how are you going to pay for the school, and the honest answer is right
now we just don’t know. We’ve got lots of scenarios, sure. We’ve got lots of
possibilities, but people don’t vote just for possibilities. So I understand we
can’t know for sure, but I think we know far too little right now to be able to
go forward. And, separately, you know, we’ve always talked about oh, we’re right
next to UVA Virginia Tech, we’re right next to Metro, this referendum language
also defines us as not being able to spend any of this money on that, and I
don’t understand that. I mean, that alone is a good enough reason for me to
vote against it, because it says in the City of Falls Church. So I don’t think
we know enough, certainly for me, to be able to vote in favor of this. At the
very least, I would suggest that you change that language so that
we don’t say we cannot spend it outside the City of Falls Church, so. Yep. I hear
your concern about not knowing exactly how we’re going to pay for it, but that’s not our
job, to figure out the financial, how we’re going to pay for it. No, it’s our
job to ask, though. But I am confident that our colleagues will help us, will get
this done, but they will, the City Council will work with their finance people, they
will have a plan. And that when we go up for a referendum, and we go on our capital
plan, we will know what we’re talking about, and I’m very comfortable and
confident they are going to use the next few months to really work that
out. They want this to succeed as much as we do. They don’t want to go out and have a failed referendum either. And I am very confident that they will work through
the finances on their side and get it, come to a comfort level. The fact that
they were willing to get this passed at first reading is, to me feels is great. I am
really happy that they went that forward, that I know a lot of them are very
uncomfortable as well, but they are taking a leap of faith, and I’m
comfortable taking it with them, and knowing that we all live here. None of us
wants us to fail. and none of us want to bankrupt the city, and we’ll all work
together to come up with the solution, and then when we go to referendum, we’ll have
a clear plan that we can tell the community about. So, I think I agree with
everything Mr. Castillo and Mr. Ankuma and Miss Gill said. I agree, as Mr.
Castillo laid out, there’s no way to reach perfect certainty. And there are
things that are outside our domain of responsibility, as Miss Gill said,
including how the financing is to be arranged. I think everybody recognizes
that policies will need to be changed at the city level to be able to afford this,
but that I think is outside our domain of responsibility. Our domain of
responsibility is to educate the kids and, you know, that doesn’t mean going in
and asking for a 200 million dollar school or anything gold-plated. But it
does mean, as we do annually with the budget, asking for what we think we need
to be able to educate the kids. And you could have said we should have done this
before, you could argue this should have been done 10 years ago. What we know
right now is that we’ve got an aging building where the maintenance costs are
going to escalate every year. And in addition to that, the safety of our kids
is an active risk. We keep hearing about smells in the building, and it’s
raining in the building, and who knows that there’s going to be a roof collapse
one day. I am quite uncomfortable with waiting any longer to put the issue
before the voters. I also think that, as we’ve seen lately,
we’re paying more if we go forward now than we would have if we’d gone forward
two years ago, because construction costs are soaring. So each year that goes by,
our kids are more at risk, we’ll pay more, and we’ll be less able to afford this
outcome. Moreover, you know, the only I think existential issue for the city is
can we build a new school to educate our kids? Because if we can’t afford an
adequate facility for our high school, then there really is no reason for Falls
Church to exist, we ought to be a part of Arlington or Fairfax County that has
the commercial base to afford them, for those sorts of facilities. So this is a
defining issue for the city. Not do we have a gold-plated high school, but do we have adequate facilities to educate our
children? And I think it’s a moment for us to, you know, as Aaron said,
we got to take the leap of faith with the City Council. The voters may not
approve it. In my opinion, the voters are then voting that the Falls Church not
continue to be an independent jurisdiction. But I think we’ve got to
put the issue before the voters, we’ve got to do the best we can to argue for
it. And the time has really come, maybe come and passed, but it’s at least come
where the intersection of kids’ safety, adequate facilities, and rising costs
have put the issue, you know, now is the time to move in my opinion. I couldn’t have said
it better. Thank you. I agree, like we have, we can’t sit on
this any longer. This has been going on way too long. That building is well over
its due date. It has expired. And it’s putting children at risk,
and we need to move forward. And I think City Council, maybe the policy
doesn’t fit right now, that doesn’t mean they’re not going to do anything about
that in the near future. And, like Aaron said earlier, our job is to get, design the
school, get a school built. Our job isn’t to figure out the payment part. So
I just, I don’t want to drag this out a minute longer. I want to proceed as is. Do
you have any comments you’d like to make on this? Yeah. So just about the aging
school. Just a few weeks before the end of the school, there was a water fountain
fire in the weightlifting room, and I think that was the point, well I guess there
were some classrooms where stuff was falling out of the ceilings but some
kids didn’t know, but I think that was the point where most of the kids kind of
knew that the building was aging. Because they’ve heard from their friends that oh,
in this classroom, like for example, in Miss Hood and Miss Insharma’s room, you
know, you have to break open the ceiling tiles and put a trash can under it
just to get the water, you know, somewhere not on the floor. So I think that many of the
kids are starting to feel like why am I here in the first place if it’s, you know, at
risk falling. So I think that yeah, we need that, like we need adequate school,
like school, but in the mean time, we also need to take more care of the
building we have now. Yeah. You know, good point. [unintelligible] mind if I make a couple? For me, I think, having set in on several meetings with the City Council as they’ve gone through
this, I think there is for the first time, we’ve all sat through this before, for the last at least three, three and a half years of doing this, and I think for the
first time in that period of time that I think there is more in the way of
consensus. Because I think we, with having at the time strategic links, I think they, to some degree overstayed a little longer than with that part of it,
but I think they actually got us all in the room, broke us into smaller groups
that actually got us to a point of being able to talk this through. and then by bringing in Perkins Eastman
in the most recent time, and actually seeing what could fit and actually
talking about how it could look, I think has gotten us to the point that we
three and a half years ago just never were at. And I think by talking through
it with outside folks kind of helping us and guide us, because when we did it
ourselves, we just spun our wheels over and over again. And at the end of the day
I think what is different this time is that we were talking about a fictitious
number, where actually outside experts came in and actually gave us a number
that we didn’t have before. The council I think has by me going first
reading has given some level of commitment. They recognize that there is
still work on their side to be done to make this affordable. I think what we, the
exercise we went through tonight is at least a part on our side of recognizing
that we still have work to be done on our side to make sure that whatever the
end product is going to be, it’s going to fit our educational specs of not being
gold-plated, as was just stated tonight, but a school that is here for the next
30 to 50 years. I think we are, if we don’t do this now, Falls Church is not
what every person, almost every person, I won’t say every person, almost every
person who you talk to who move to Falls Church moved here because of the schools. That at this point, as I said last Tuesday night, for us to be an education
city and known for that, know it’s not necessarily always the facilities, it’s
about who’s in there teaching our kids, but it comes a point in time where we
have to look at our facilities are not at all adequate for doing what they should
be doing and where. All the communities around us who we look at as
our peer institutions of, particularly Arlington, they have all, and excluding
Fairfax, have almost every one of their schools has had a major renovation and
or a new facility built. And we’ve been over the last decade or more just
talking about it. That if we had did this ten years ago, we wouldn’t be looking at
potentially building a 120 million dollar school. It could have been less at
that point. But because we were afraid of the ultimate cost of it, we are where we
are now with a building that has overstayed its usefulness. I think we
have a case that can be made for passage of the referendum, and it’s up to us to
make that case. It’s up to us putting forward the information that needs to be
put out there as to why, why now and not waiting and kicking the can down the
road. It’s still work to be done, and no one’s going to sit here and say that
there’s not work to be done on both sides of us doing that look as well
as the City Council doing their part of figuring out and making it work
financially. Because we all have the same goal at the end of the day of making
sure that the City of Falls Church is here for the long haul. But I think if we
continue to have a school that is in the condition that it is and whether we
replace the school or not, taxes continue to get looked at and go up, people are
going to ask that question, why am I paying this much in property
taxes when I can go to Fairfax or Arlington and pay a heck of a lot less
and get pretty, biased here, pretty okay education going to those places, but I
made a choice and knowingly made the choice to go to Falls Church, that I’m
spending more because I like what Falls Church offers my kid of smaller class
sizes, the potential of getting to, being more active and involved in their
schools, of parents that are active and
involved in the schools. I think we have a premium, that we pay for it. I
think folks walk into it knowing, knowing it. And I think if we go into this
referendum with the right information, that we still have some of that work
to be done before we go into the fall, but I think we have a good piece to be
made of why we need to do this upgrade of our facilities. All right. Any final comments
before I submit to Miss Goodell to vote? Mr. Lawrence. Yeah. I just, I don’t want
people to think I don’t understand why we need a new school. I mean, that’s been
clear and it’s certainly something I’ve spent God knows how much time on over
the last four years, four and a half, five years, but I think it is our job to
ask how it’s going to get paid for. I mean, we are all citizens, so to say it’s
not our responsibility honestly is shirking our responsibility. We’ve seen
the council for years say this dollar figure, even a smaller dollar figure was
too much. They’ve not changed their fiscal policies to make it affordable so
that we could do things, and now suddenly we’re going to take a big leap of faith
that they’re going to do what they have not done for the last three and a half
years. That’s what I don’t understand. So yes, we need a new school. I want us to
get a new school. I would just like to know that we’re actually going to have a
financial plan to play to, plan to pay for it, and that’s where I just do not
have any confidence that we’ve got that. Well, we don’t have it right now. You all
think in the next three and a half, four months, we’re suddenly going to get
something that we haven’t gotten in the last three and a half years. I hope I’m
wrong, but got nothing to go on right now. Mr. Castillo? Yeah. Just to elaborate
a little on what Mr. Lawrence said. I mean, there are three things, there
are three legs on this stool. There’s the school program, there’s the development
program, and there’s the financing aspect of it. We’ve done a lot of work on the
school program. The development probe, the development process is necessarily going
to be lagging. And the finance is going to be, you know, finance enables us to buy
houses that are worth sometimes several multiples of what we actually bring home for salary. And so finance is going to be, alchemy’s the wrong word, but it’s going
to be the catalyst that’s going to make this happen.
I’m confident based on the financial analysis that we’ve seen in the course
of several aspects of this, where we can lay out the the arc of how this is going
to work. The school program is going to have to come first, there will be
borrowing associated with that. There can be financing options kicking in at
that point plus there will be the development process which, now that we’re in a decoupled world, is going to come farther downstream. But I think we can
lay out how these building blocks all fit together, and we’re going to have to
do that, because I agree that if we can’t explain each of the three legs of this
stool, then the voters will not be supportive of this. So I think the case
is ours to make. I think the pieces of that case are out there, and we have to
start saying okay, here here’s how financing does open up options that are
going to make this possible. So, you know, I think it’s just time to bring all
those strands together and, you know, with respect to policy? Yes, it will not be
consistent with existing policy. I think council is cognizant of that, and
I think city manager has put a lot of thought into what that means for what
time frame and what the ultimate plan is for
getting back into policy. And so I think those are elements that I’m confident
the council and the city manager will be able to explain in further detail. You
know, I do think it’s going to be incumbent on everybody on the board to
be able to explain the financing and development pieces of this because, you
know, we are not just board members, we’re also citizens, and we’re going to have to
have the complete understanding of this. We won’t be able to just say we just
deal with the school part, and beyond that our remit doesn’t go. So,
this is more than anything is a vision. We’re going to have to put all
this together in a way that is comprehensible. It can’t look fantastic,
but I think we have the pieces there. And I’m confident that if we continue to
work closely with the finance advisors that we have and with the
professionals in general government that we can make as good a case as we’ll
ever be able to make, so. I’d like to, oh, I’m sorry. I’d just like to clarify something. I didn’t want it, my comments earlier about this. I didn’t mean to disparage you, John. John
has been a very strong proponent, since I’ve been on the school board, of a new
school and has worked very hard toward that end. I just wanted to point out, and
I do understand your concern, I do, but I really don’t think it’s in, it’s
necessarily on our shoulders, and like I think the majority of us agree that we
put our confidence in City Council that they’re going to do the right thing. And
this has been a long time coming, and I think at this point I’m not concerned
about what they’re going to do. I think they’re going to
follow through on this, because I think they know it’s in the best interest
of the city to build this new school. So that’s what I was trying to point out before. Anyway. Didn’t mean to diss you. Dr. Noonan? All right. I’m obviously the
new guy, and one of the things, I could say that a little bit longer. You know, one of
the things that I vowed to you as a school board was that I come to you as
a collaborative leader. And I think about collaboration in sort of these, and
picking up on your three legs of a stool, you know, there are three pieces to
collaboration. One is that there has to be interdependence, and I think about the
relationship that the school board has with the City Council, and I think that
there’s an unescapable interdependence that you have, and you have to rely on
each other, and they have to rely on you to do the work of the city, and I think
that that piece alone shows great leadership. I don’t think we can be a
team without a goal, so interdependence around a common goal, and I think our
common goal between the two entities is that we build this new high school. And
the last is that there’s mutual accountability, and I think by putting
yourselves out there and by agreeing to move forward with this resolution is
the third leg of this piece of collaboration. You have the
interdependence, you have the common goal, and now there’s a sense of mutual
accountability. That in order to get their work done, they have to rely on you
to get your work done, and I think part of doing your work is not just signing
off and moving this forward but is also back ending it with the collaborative
process and skills necessary to work with the council to get this bond
ultimately approved. And so when I think about that what it is to be a
team, those are the three pieces that I think are being part of a team. And I
think you have a great opportunity tonight, in the spirit of collaboration
and in the spirit of teamwork, have a chance to really move forward to
better support our program here in the school. So that’s all I just wanted
to say. Just one more thing. I just want to make clear. Yes, I’m going to vote against
this tonight because I don’t think we have any financial plan to pay for this
thing, and that seriously concerns me. But in the
next few months, I hope you can all come to me and make me buy you something
alcoholic, sorry, probably shouldn’t say that here, because I was proved wrong. And if we
have a good plan, I will be out there beating the bushes. I mean, the fact that
I would vote against this tonight isn’t going to change the fact that if we get
a good plan that we can defend, that we can go out and actually sell, I’ll sell
it. Right now, we’ve got nothing. That is what concerns me. So I just want to let
you know that this is not me saying I’m done, I’m walking away. This is me saying,
you know, a cry that we’ve got to get something in the next few months that
you’re all hoping we’re going to get and I’m just more skeptical of. But if we
get it, I will be out there, but we’ve got to get it. And the idea of, you know,
mutual support and everything thing is wonderful but I’m just I just
look at the last few years and I’m skeptical and more than a little cranky
but don’t take my negative vote today meaning I’m not going to be out helping if
we get a good plan to pay for this thing I think you all know me well enough to
know that I will be out there over in Rollins Drive annoying people in
their front yard and putting things on your door Michael I just
want to make that clear this is not me trying to walk away it’s just I just
can’t vote for this right now Alright and with that I will entertain a motion for the resolution Mr. Chair I move that the Falls Church City public school board
request the Falls Church City Council to consider and approve an ordinance
authorizing the issuance and bonds to fund the cost for the George Mason High
School project and place the question of the issuance before the voters by
referendum in the 2017 November election the second? aye alright. Sorry one question and this is not something we need to do now but just a discussion
I had mentioned earlier that in the language of the referendum and I’m glad
that we have a city council member here one thing that did concern me is it talks
about contracted debt to pay for costs for constructing renovating and holder
in part high school middle school in the city of Falls Church
we should get you know Carroll and Wyatt to look at that to make sure that does
not mean we can only spend this bond in the city of Falls Church I think that
would be a mistake I could understand where you might be
able to read it and say well this is ya know the schools are in the city of Falls Church
but we can’t give up on Metro we can’t give up on WMATA we can’t give up on
ya know vdot with that little row we can’t give up on UVA/Virginia Tech I
would just ask that somebody get someone with a law degree to say does that limit
us and fix it if it does you may not be able to
you know use our land in Fairfax County with UVA/Virginia Tech but you know
getting down to not wanting to go under 120 million because they might limit us
I just think we should make sure this doesn’t either I don’t know about the language of the specific referendum Mr. Lawrence
may very well be right I’m not sure that’s material to our vote simply
because while it’s attached to the referendum or the sorry the document
that we are voting on tonight says a ordinance not necessarily unchanged to
the existing ordinance and so I think no let me finish so I take what you
said as you that that ought to be conveyed and I think at least one city
council member has heard that and that can move forward but I think I think we can vote
on the resolution that we’ve got tonight that’s all I wanted to say oh yeah no you
can definitely vote I just wanted to I had mentioned that earlier and never
really explained myself so I just wanted to make sure that I explained my worry
because that would be something bad Alright, Ms. Gadell. Mr. Ankuma? Aye. Mr. Castillo? Aye. Ms. Gill? Aye. Mr. Lawrence? No. Mr. Reitinger? Yes. Ms. Ward? Yes. Mr. Webb? Yes. Resolution has passed thank you very much
is there any other comments or anything before we adjourn? We’ve got to make sure we
sign off before leaving and if not we are adjourned just about time

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