Harvard High School Open House Discussion – Full Transcript
Corey Tafoya: This is all part of a committee that we’re calling our facilities steering committee. We’re having discussions with some community members who were on the committee and our administrators who are trying to get into this idea of what is it that is of the most dire need? So John will talk about that part of it. What my part of it is to talk about is why right now this is really so especially important?
Corey Tafoya: The timing of this is really critical and there may feel like, wow, this is a weird time of year maybe to have these meetings. But, it really is very important we’re doing this all now. The reason why I say that is because, we have for the last three years been beneficiaries of a new state funding formula for education. The way this is different is in the past money given to every school for the state was based on their local property value.
Corey Tafoya: Those assessments are EAV, we call it. That was basically how it was calculated in your average daily attendance, and that’s kind of how you knew as a district how much money you’d receive. Well, the formula is a lot more complex now and it benefits us a great deal because it’s calculated on this idea of what’s the adequacy of the amount of money coming to you from the state? So they determine what type of students are in the school? Do they have English language learners? Special ed students?
Corey Tafoya: Those things make a higher value. It also appreciates that communities that have a lower EAV or taxable value that can be con contributions to the districts wealth, that makes a big difference. We want to make sure that we’ve got enough funding for that. So when the very first version of this, they determined every school district in Illinois adequacy percentage.
Corey Tafoya: So in our very first go round with that, we were at only 50% adequacy. We are actually the third lowest school district in the whole state in terms of adequacy. While that’s not great news because it means we’re horribly under funded, the state should be giving us approximately twice as much money as it was. We knew that there was some funding that accompanies that. So what the legislature has done for the last three years, they’ve supported this.
Corey Tafoya: So if you talk to legislators, tell them to continue to support evidence-based funding because it’s making a huge difference for us. The first year we got an additional two point $2 million from the state beyond what the initial allocation was. In the second year they added another $1.8 to that initial $2.2. So every year they stack more. This year I think it was $1.4 million, it was in that range before a settle.
Corey Tafoya: So we are the recipients and we are trying now to figure out how to properly address the needs of the district. What we’ve done so far with that money is really address instructional needs. We have a lot of instructional needs. For the first time ever we have, as you might’ve heard, if you follow closely enough, we have art classes. Last year we started that program at Crosby and Jefferson. That was something we didn’t really have in the past.
Corey Tafoya: This year have instructional coaches. We’ve done things with technology. We’ve done things to address class size problems. So there’s a lot of things that evidence-based money is allowed us to do that frankly we just never do before because our money was way, way too tight. But, we still have, obviously, needs and now since we’re at a stable spot with addressing the educational personnel. We’ve added social workers. We’ve added counselors. We’ve done a lot of things to help the social-emotional needs of our kids.
Corey Tafoya: But now it’s time to look at our facilities. So when you combine that, how is this money that will be coming to us, if the legislator continues to support this, how do we use that money? But secondarily, the last legislature that met, they also [00:03:29] a $1.5 billion school construction project. So that money, it’s yet been determined the exact process. But last week I was at a, actually it was two weeks ago now, I was at a kind of administrative meeting and they invited legislators to come talk about hot topics. One of the things that in that $1.5 million, I just asked them, I said, how are you going to prioritize the school districts? We’re a tier one school district. They said absolutely that the first schools to be able to speak up for that $1.5 billion would be tier one schools like us.
Corey Tafoya: So we feel like we’re in a really good spot right now to be addressing some of these fundamental questions of how are we going to operate? We have to address these issues and so we can do it with some of that additional state money that’s coming. We’re going to put our name in because March 1st is the deadline we’re hearing that they’re going to release how school districts apply for whatever percentage of that 1.5 billion. Obviously, we’re not going to get all of that, but what can we put our name in?
Corey Tafoya: But, they’re going to consider districts like ours, tier one districts, and they’re going to ask us to have something that there’s a local contribution. So we’re planning that out. Then, also do you have a, they call them “Shovel ready projects.” So that’s why we’re working with John so that we have these projects ready to go.
Corey Tafoya: When those come out we say we would like X amount of dollars for these projects. So we are trying to be very, very prepared for when that moment strikes, we’re ready to say this is what the project is. So the idea of this steering committee, if you will, and the meetings like these is to design what would our plan be? What’s our biggest need? How can we take care of the biggest problems so we have in the district in all five of our facilities?
Corey Tafoya: So what will happen is at the December board meeting, and you’re certainly welcome to a public meeting, we encourage you to come, but come and listen to the ideas that John and his colleague, Allison, are working on to present to the board. Like, these are our recommendations. These are the things we think that will make the most impact immediately for the students of the district. Based on the things that principals are saying, these are things that are priorities for us. These are things we can’t do.
Corey Tafoya: That will allow the board to have maybe a funnel down list of priorities. And that’s how then we have to figure out the financing of these whole things too. Because, we want to be ready certainly for that March 1st deadline for all the applications. So that’s why this is all coming together at this time. So there’s some really exciting opportunities for our district, and as you can see, not only from this walk through, but if you’ve been on other walkers, all of our buildings have things, and we’re going to tackle those things. We’re not going to pretend like they don’t exist.
Corey Tafoya: We want to meet the needs of our students and we have to do that with fine facilities. So those are some of the things going on. I’m going to introduce John and I want him to talk a little bit about what he calls educational or instructional adequacy. I always say it wrong, don’t I, John? Educational adequacy. Because, what he does is look at the needs of the buildings and every building gets a percentage of how they meet the educational adequacy of what that building’s trying to do. I’ll let you talk about the different numbers of the different schools John, because you explained that a lot better than I do. Okay?
John Maurer: Thank you, Dr Tafoya. Welcome everybody. I’m glad to see you come out. As Dr Tafoya said, we have been studying each of the district facilities and trying to establish a measurable benchmark for each building in terms of how well it’s serving the needs of the students and their instruction in that building. It is measurable. Everything is measured against standards that are known by evidence to produce the kinds of results that we all want to see. So each building has an adequacy target, just like the evidence-based funding.
John Maurer: Typically, the older buildings, like Harvard high school is right now at about 50% of fully adequate. Crosby being the newest building is just under 90%. So age certainly has a factor on that, particularly in, as you’ve seen maybe tonight rooms tend to be a lot smaller here. It’s one of the problems that even creates capacity issues here at Harvard high school because they are scheduled as Mr Hollingsworth, said right to the absolute max in every classroom, which doesn’t really allow any space for more students, for new programming.
John Maurer: The new programming in particular is essential to keeping up with 21st century learning. So it’s both the style of learning and the learning content and the ways in which that learning can be delivered in a more collaborative fashion. So what I really want to say though, is the process and the reason for these community meetings is to involve the community in that collaboration. It’s your buildings, it’s your district, it’s your students, and they’re the future of Harvard. So it’s really essential that we hear from you. So I’d like to just ask a few questions and try to get you involved a little bit.
Corey Tafoya: One other thing that I want to mention that’s also a contributing factor to this is, that we as a school district are growing. We have more students this year than we did last year, and we’ve grown at about 80 students in the last three years. So we are moving and growing and that only makes the space issues that you see even more tricky for John and Carl and his staff to figure out how do we fit. On the tables there, if you care to look, what the board did, it’s called a Casada demographics side that shows the expected growth. Also is some work that John did is preliminary on the status of the building, like what is the infrastructure needs and things like that.
Corey Tafoya: So I want to mention that those are also part of why this just does feel like a little pressure to really address these issues. Those are also on the website that I would just mentioned that you’re curious and don’t want to look through it tonight. They’re there for you. That’s probably be the same place where this video will be and a place for any community member to submit any questions or comments they have.
Corey Tafoya: I don’t know the answer exactly to that, but I think that’s just the way it’s been forever and it has gone in question, and that’s exactly why we’re inviting people in to look at this. Because it’s time to ask those questions. Why is it like that and what should we be doing to do that? Is there a viable solution that’s possible. This is the time to ask those questions. You we’re right. It’s troubling.
Speaker 1: It really troubling. Absolutely. [crosstalk 00:10:18].
John Maurer: Those are examples of things that are inadequate that contributes to that adequacy score. It’s not just your physical condition and the size, it’s location too. So if any of you are here for athletic events, you know that there’s games in both gyms. Or, during the day, students are doing this constantly back and forth, locker room to gym, locker, room to gym, back and forth, walking down the halls basically.
John Maurer: So both for athletics where essentially the entire building becomes open to everyone who is here, and during the day when you basically have students who may even be cutting through the lunch room to get from a locker room to the gym.
Corey Tafoya: And you can just keep going down the list. Where do officials change? Do they have a changing space? It’s all there on before our games, no? Where do our coaches change when they come? Where do our female coaches have a ladies’ locker room? We don’t have that for them to even change. So it’s just if you keep going down that rabbit hole, it’s really upsetting. I’ve had people on that same tour come out literally in tears. So that’s why we have invited you in here.
Corey Tafoya: So because, I can tell you it’s bad. But, then when you see it, you’re going to tell people and that really is what we hope motivates our community to understand, we’re not crying wolf here. We’re not saying that we’re trying to fleece people for money. These are dire needs that we have to address and it is upsetting and it shouldn’t be. That’s why when I walked I was like, Oh, we got to start talking about this and to the board. Like, let’s build a plan so we can address this. We have to, there’s no choice.
John Maurer: Great question. There’s a couple of things and remember that we’re tying this to programming. So Dr. Tafoya had mentioned, or maybe it was John, I don’t remember, that art was added into the curriculum two years ago. So art didn’t exist when Crosby was built, so there were no art rooms. If you’re familiar with the building, there are four collaboration areas. One in each grade level center. Those were what’s called a steam space, science, technology, engineering, art and math. So the classroom teachers were delivering art in that space, so they would just move from their classroom to there. Well, now two of those four have been taken over as art rooms over time. At the same time, the growth in special education programming has added more and more intervention staff into the building-
Corey Tafoya: …Remember, sorry to interrupt you John, we pulled all our students back from seed and so that took six classes.
Speaker 2: And that I wasn’t the [inaudible 00:13:11]
John Maurer: So those folks are now staff members and even though Crosby was designed with lots of large group and small group space, all of those small group spaces have now been taken over and are no longer available for student collaboration. Now they’ve started to spill and about half of the other two discovery centers, those group areas, they’re now broken up for intervention. So they’re doing pullout and bringing students into those areas. So those classroom teachers have lost the use of that group space that was shared between nine to 10 classrooms in each of the grade level groupings.
Corey Tafoya: It’s the biggest building in the district too, in terms of enrollment. There’s 800 kids there, over 800 kids are in. Like Jason’s classroom has a big gym in. They know it’s a big gym. Well, really we should probably have three sections of P that we run a lot of time, but, you’ll put the thing down, they’ll run to section out there, but they’re full and they’re big and it’s challenging.
John Maurer: At the same time they are this close to the capacity of the building, and even though it has good sized classrooms because of the district’s commitment to a dual language model, and with the parents able to choose whether they are in a mono Lang lingual program or a dual lingual programming, the demand for the dual lingual classes is larger. And at least right now at the second grade level, that has resulted in much larger class sizes in the dual language classes. So those classrooms are stretched. What happens is, the more students you get in the classroom, the less flexibility you have to be able to rearrange tables like you saw at the business incubator. So that’s, what that 10% really is. That combination of those.
Corey Tafoya: Let me finish with the rest of the adequacy because I don’t think I completed that. Washington, which is our pre kid building is actually our lowest adequacy percentage of any of the buildings. It’s 46% and that’s primarily the age of the building and the size. We are limited just on the number of classrooms and the classroom really need a lot of renovation. Crosby is 90%. Jefferson, right across the way also 50%. Very, very tight building and older. Junior high is 64% in here in high school, 50% inadequacy. So those are the numbers that we really have to get to. How are we going to really meet the needs of our kids and the space and teachers providing them adequate learning spaces for their classes?
John Maurer: Possibly that. We haven’t studied those kinds of things yet.
Speaker 3: Those not cheap.
Corey Tafoya: Yes, that’s right. Because, if you’re adding space, you got to find a way to.
Speaker 3: Yes.
John Maurer: So the chiller, for example, don’t know how close that is to max at this point. And until we quantify whether an addition is needed and how large that addition would be, really can’t study that.
Corey Tafoya: But like water pumps in the junior high just had to be replaced. Some of these are at this age where you’re getting significant amount of years on a lot of these things. Not insignificant cost itself. They haven’t decided it yet. But there is a mention from PMA or our financial people that give us advice, that there is expected to be some ask of the district to at least have a contribution. I don’t know if it be a straight match, but we’ll have-
John Maurer: Historically there has always been a match. The little rumblings I’ve heard are that the larger the gap in your funding adequacy, the lower your local share.
Corey Tafoya: So we are still the lowest adequacy percentage of any unit district in the whole state. So that’s why when I asked and I made each legislator say, do you agree the tier ones should be [inaudible 00:17:15]? They all nodded to me. They were viable. But that’s why this is a really unique time. Because we’re going to be able to make a really healthy ask into that amount of money. We don’t know how much we’ll be given in year one, but we should be one of the first ones since we’ll have ready projects and we’re a tier one district. Nine years. The Crosby bond was a 20 year bond and we’re 11 years in for that.
Speaker 4: That’s the next one that we have in this district. Everything else is [inaudible 00:17:45] .
Corey Tafoya: Good question.
John Maurer: I think is there room to do that everywhere? What do you say Sean? [crosstalk 00:17:58].
Corey Tafoya: Sean’s been here three weeks. I think so. Maybe had for him to totally answer that question.
John Maurer: But most of the buildings primarily are TH right now. [crosstalk 00:18:06].
Speaker 5: But isn’t that reimbursed through com ad if the proper-
John Maurer: There are some incentives.
Speaker 6: There are some rebates Programs.
Speaker 7: So basically the schools district wouldn’t cough up any money.
John Maurer: Well, now, it’s not quite that-
Speaker 7: You’d hire a contractor. A contractor would deal with [inaudible 00:18:23].
John Maurer: Yes, there are rebates. It’s not, wouldn’t cover a 100%.
Speaker 8: It’s a good idea.
John Maurer: Those programs have all changed recently because as of last year, comment took over all of those. So they’re no longer under the state’s direct control.
Speaker 1: Like I think of Jefferson, there’s no room over there. I guess there’s a little bit but not a lot.
John Maurer: But there is space challenge, the sites are space challenged thou.
Corey Tafoya: Most of them are that way. Like this building, we are locked into this little space unless you’d build North towards the football field perhaps. Maybe that gives you a little bit of space. So that’s why we are here because there’s no idea, preconceived notion of what we want to do. Whether it’s a new school or add-ons or close the building or open new ones. We’re really open to whatever ideas are best and possible. We’re going to continue to ask for probably some time so we got a lot of good feedback because we don’t know. When you look at some of these percentages though, the question becomes, is a renovation of a 43% adequacy school that doesn’t have any space, a good use of taxpayer money or not? That’s what we have to examine. Is that really worth or is it better just to build something that could be new and actually be designed from the start with the space that’s needed?
John Maurer: In which things are changing. For example, if you have a double loaded corridor with classrooms on each side and those classrooms are 700 square feet, and you’re saying that the adequacy target is a 900 square foot room, to start taking all those walls out and trying to make each classroom incrementally bigger is probably not really a viable strategy. So it takes a little more creativity than just something like…
Speaker 6: In my mind, we’ve… Years ago we tried to get a new high school. In my mind, the question that is if we were to somehow get a new high school, could we move the junior high here with that number of students, and would that work and move the Jefferson kids up to the junior high and maybe just shut down that building? Would those numbers also work?
John Maurer: So unsurprisingly that idea had been floated just in conversation. Then someone else quickly pointed out, well, wouldn’t all the same problems that are at the high school now just still exist and be transferred to the junior high? And they would.
Speaker 6: Well, no, I understand that. That’s why I’m asking about the numbers of kids at the junior high versus the high school. You’d still have to do some [crosstalk 00:21:10].
John Maurer: Numerically, it certainly works because you’d be going for four aged to three.
Corey Tafoya: The only challenge with that site up there is, it’s about 40 acres and the research says now to build a high school that will last another hundred years, let’s hope, is you need about 80 acres, and it’s only about 40. So it’s about half the space. We actually have.
Speaker 6: I know that the argument years ago was a lot of grade work had to be done in order to-
Corey Tafoya: There would be a lot of,
Speaker 5: … Make it ready.
Corey Tafoya: You are right. It is very rolling roll. The other complication that I think it’s fair to mention is that we think about growth in this community. The other thing that the people don’t really talk about this, but it’s a true fact that there’s a lot of conversation about what would have happened if we really hit a growth spur if Motorola really would happen? And that’s an actual thing that’s being bandied about again and that’s something that we know it’s hard to prepare for. We don’t know what might happen, but that’s another thing that we just have to keep in mind. It’s a 40 acres, maybe that’s a new two, three building or maybe a pre K one building. We don’t know any of these answers yet, but you could build something on that space. It’s ours.
Speaker 6: We could trade the land for some place else.
Corey Tafoya: That’s right. That’s the question.
Speaker 6: Where?
Speaker 4: Well, question with that. So 80 acres though, is that considering probably football facilities and everything else. But if you were close enough, you could utilize the existing facilities maybe and cutting back on some of that.
Corey Tafoya: A further 40?
Speaker 4: Yes.
Corey Tafoya: You’d have to cut out a lot of things and they would be the outdoor facilities primarily. Because you’re over, I don’t know how at this space is the layout of a campus and how big. We’d have to decide what’s the anticipated enrollment going to be? How big do you build it for? 1200? We have the 1400, 900. How big do you want to build that? Because, then that would affect, how much space you’d have. But you’re right. The other thing that happens in some places now is they do AstroTurf fields because then you don’t have to worry about the grass and you can have multiple people on the field and not have to do that. So there’s lots of issues with that. But space is a real question on the Heights.
John Maurer: One of the primary large consumers of space on high school campus is parking. This you talk about adequacy there have less than half of the proper number of spaces here. So you limit drivers here, right? Because, there’s no place for them to park.
Jay: Because you have room behind the junior high, you might have to move a soccer field somewhere. Expand the junior high, give that another grade level or maybe even another two. I know Washington’s a problem. Washington’s a huge problem because that building is obsolete and it can’t really do anything with it. Can’t really add to it. Why don’t you add your building with a 40% out of district money?
John Maurer: [crosstalk 00:24:03] district also done freshman campuses too for a freshman, sophomore campus.
Corey Tafoya: So the configurations, there’s not a philosophical approach to the district. Like we don’t believe that we should have a range bigger than four grades because we do have that at Crosby. But some places they adopt a [00:24:22] philosophical approach. So we just think the age difference of between kids is so great that that’s kind of an issue to talk. But, we don’t have that necessarily per se in the district yet. But, those are exactly the type things that feel soft about. We need to figure out what we believe in so we can make good decisions to do that. Then it has to be viable in terms of space and through that the growth we expect to see.
Speaker 1: Is it a possibility if we do end up building a new Washington school like Berta Dierssen and Woodstock, how they have pre-K and kindergarten in the same building so it frees up some space and Crosby?
Corey Tafoya: Some people have suggested me that to move the Pre-K and kindergarten to Jefferson would be size-wise that might work actually. Then that would make Crosby a one, two, three building, which is the three of you who live there they know wouldn’t be beneficial. That could make it look, feel a little better. Right? So a lot of ideas. That’s why we’re here, load them. Let’s [crosstalk 00:25:21]
Speaker 1: One more question. Was brought up when you mentioned Motorola. What would happen if say something like that did happen and we had not been able to expand our schools yet and now we’re at capacity because at a point we cannot take any more students? Right?
Corey Tafoya: The first thing that will be affected is class size, because it is as you know, at Crosby we would just have and that’s one of the things that evidence based funding is done is provides money so we could lower class size. We’ve intentionally tried to really lower the class size because that’s one of the things [crosstalk 00:25:52], so guess what happens to class size if we don’t address this. They’re just going to go right back up and as you know that isn’t what we’re trying to do educationally first.
Speaker 1: But are we allowed to only have a certain amount of students in the building, or can we just keep going?
Corey Tafoya: No, I was the principal of a school that was capacity 1800 and we had 2022. So-
Speaker 1: …Okay, so we can keep just taking-
Corey Tafoya: It’s miserable.
John Maurer: Yes, and those things like art and music go away and go back to being not on cart.
Corey Tafoya: Yes.
Jay: Now we did add some divisions but there hasn’t been significant housing, we built in this town like two houses in the past six, seven years, so-
Corey Tafoya: …The other thing that it would do though is that added tax benefit.
Speaker 6: Yes, that is true.
Corey Tafoya: Do we really diminish the role of what a local taxpayer homeowner would have to pay, because their added contribution to what we need for our levy to meet our what we need educationally would really be affected. So that would be a huge impact on a local property owner for sure.
Speaker 7: And to talk about what Jay was saying, part of the reason people weren’t moving here was because of the school system, so you’ve got a vicious circle.
Corey Tafoya: Exactly right. Well, and that’s why these conversations are so important because we need to demonstrate, we have an educational plan to move our curriculum forward and to be prepared academically. You’re starting to see some of that, the evidence of Jefferson moving a step higher with something that really is a sign of I think what will be bigger. But we also need to answer the facility questions. You’re not going to send kids to a place that where it just doesn’t feel like it’s modern. That’s what we have to really tackle and you’re absolutely right. Realtors tell us that all the time. What are you guys doing? We got to get it figured out. All in Hebrew and they asked if we wanted to consolidate. They did a study, they’ve kind of pulled that off her back a little bit.
Corey Tafoya: But the thing with all them Hebrew is they’re not going to bring us, I guess a lot of student population that will help us raise the district. But we also would have to take on their facilities, and their facilities are frankly, in worse shape than ours. So we would take on their high school, which really they feel like they need to make a decision to do a referendum or to tear it down and do something completely different. They’ve asked Woodstock, Harvard, and Richmond Burton to look at a consolidation. So those were just incomplete right now because we’re waiting to see what we locally decide to do first.
Speaker 7: Because they should have the same amount of, well, there’s 1.1 or there’s 1.8 billion?
Corey Tafoya: 1.5 billion under construction.
Speaker 7: 1.5 billion, so they would get a share of that if they needed it?
Corey Tafoya: They could ask for that, that’s right.
Speaker 7: And then-
Corey Tafoya: …They’re a tier one school, but actually they’re a lot higher in terms of their adequacy percentage than even we are. That’s where we would rely on the Kasarda Study. It’s one of those binders where they looked at in the next 10 years and they have a very slow growth or no growth model, or what they call a series B, which is like moderate growth or like a high growth one. It’s, you’d have to have the exact number for you there. [crosstalk 00:29:18]
John Maurer: It’s about a growth about a hundred or so students.
Corey Tafoya: Well, I can tell you this and right now, our district’s enrollment is 27, 66 and they predict us in 10 years using the series speak to grow 110 more students in that time.
Speaker 7: Okay, so-
Corey Tafoya: …It’s just a prediction, so-
John Maurer: …you’d probably design or program it for a minimum of 900 but you might consider programming the infrastructure elements like cafeteria, gymnasiums, and that sort of stuff to maybe a 1200 number.
Speaker 7: 1200, okay, yes. So then that being said with the site or if we own the site, what does a 1200 per student capacity, high school costs?
John Maurer: Do you really want to know?
Speaker 7: Yes.
John Maurer: It’s probably between 70 and 80 million, not counting the land.
Speaker 7: Okay.
Corey Tafoya: So one of the things that the board and some community members did last year is to go visit some schools in our area, some that had built new and some that had added on and when John was talking about, build it as if you could build on. Richmond Burton high school, which Woodruff actually was a big part of, they have it like that, that they’re able to add on as the money comes in, they can add on. They can alter how their lunchroom looks and that becomes a different space and things like that. One of the things that we want to hear from the community is like we don’t have an auditorium in our community. We have no place for our concerts, we have no place for our, we do theater productions and they’re doing a great job. But what if we had an acoustically sound place where we could actually do the things that our kids, how much more would they shine?
Corey Tafoya: So we have a lot of those questions. Can we have an open fitness and rec center that’s a community center that we could share, and after the practices are all done at six o’clock if you want to come in and walk the track or use the elliptical as a community member, you could have your little membership and come join us. So those are the things that we’ll have to do. Are there ways that will help the community feel like they can be a part of this school infrastructure? The other thing to consider is, that’s just the high school that doesn’t address, if we moved to different grade level and here to address the locker room situation, or the things going on at Jefferson, there’s still expense past that to consider.
Speaker 4: Crosby, I don’t know how much land we have over there-
John Maurer: …20.
Speaker 4: That’s much of slab is over there, isn’t it?
John Maurer: What’s that?
Speaker 4: A slab of concrete over there.
John Maurer: That’s just a slab on grade building.
Speaker 4: Yes, so we could, that goes up pretty quickly, that’s an option. At Woodruff, you can blend that all day long. That’s $70 million.
Speaker 1: One of the things that we’ve talked about before Todd and I worked me up here and I could see how this might be workable as another elementary school move Jefferson but then take that space and make a high school campus. It might end up being two buildings, maybe we build the house in the plan of a building but dig there you have Jefferson and then from here to 14, and that whole area make a high school campus. Again, it might end up being two buildings but-
John Maurer: …Like I said that, one building could be the freshman campus.
Speaker 1: You’d have room for a field house or something?
Speaker 4: In the next 10 years, how many students are we projected to get, go up to like a hundred, 40’s?
Corey Tafoya: 100. [crosstalk 00:32:48].
Speaker 4: So what age group is that going to be?
Corey Tafoya: All scattered.
Speaker 4: All scattered.
Corey Tafoya: The average just to build one class from one, the average classroom is about 400,000 if you’re adding just a single classroom like the, that’s a ballpark like. So every year, this year 30 more students, that’s another classroom we should bet. Of course there distributed all throughout and disperse, but that’s the classroom-
John Maurer: …Recent construction costs about $400,000.
Corey Tafoya: That’s 400,00 we’re behind in our needs. So if you imagine you should add one of those every year, we need to think about how we’re going to do that there.
Speaker 4: Understood.
Speaker 6: From an educational standpoint, you guys white boarded this is, we need a shop class, we need this, we need that. We don’t have these things, right? Obviously, we need new lockers, we need an auditorium. I mean growth of a hundred students, it’s more of what this facility, this building doesn’t provide for our students. That puts us at a disadvantage. It does. Simply doesn’t and it was built a hundred years ago, it’s understandable, wasn’t built for the society that we live in now. Clearly it wasn’t, where you need multiple locker rooms. There was no girls sports back then. There was only, I’m saying you need multiple lockers, and there was no reason for those girls to be. I’m embarrassed that my daughter was using those locker rooms. It’s insane. It really is, and I’m not mad at anyone. To be mad or point fingers is meaningless now, you got to move forward.
Speaker 6: We talked about this earlier today, cannot keep kicking the can down the road. They’ve been doing that with the police station, police officers were working in, whenever it rains, it floods in there. That’s embarrassing. So to live in the community that does that. Someone has to make decisions. It’s not easy to do. People would get upset because we’re taxpayers. It’s our money, I get it. But in the end we have to do what’s right for this community and the people that are our students that live, they go to school here and the people live here.
Corey Tafoya: That’s where we’re going to need your voices, and that’s why you’re here tonight to see it for yourself. Because there will be a point in time where we’re going to come out with a plan and we need the public to understand they’re not crying wolf. They really have these needs because one of the things that John is doing with our principals, they have to dignify their educational needs and that’s matched up to things that are inadequate. What’s the current status of that need? So the things that are rated a five a high priority, but zero in terms of where is that, those are the things that probably will rise to the top of the list of things we’re trying to address.
Speaker 1: What kind of timeline are we looking at for all this, really?
Corey Tafoya: Well, the only thing that is real certain is that on March 1st we’ll understand a little bit more about the application project for that a 1.5 billion state construction grant. So we have to have a prioritization done and that’s probably what I expect the board will be doing in January, after we’ve heard from all, we’ll have to just sit and plan, what are we going to do? How much money can we locally create? Is that sufficient for what we want to do?
Speaker 1: And so in the meantime, because the locker room is really my biggest problem right now, what can we do to help that?
Corey Tafoya: Well, anything we do would probably be like a summer thing. So in terms of now, now.
Speaker 1: Not now. I’m thinking more for next school year because to me it is so opposite for the boys and the girls. Especially now that I see those two locker rooms, and with the gym, boys should not have both of those. So what can we do to fix that in the meantime?
Corey Tafoya: You know this already, but I need to remind you that five of our seven board members are mothers of women athletes. Our former board president was the gender equity title person in Woodstock when I was the principal there. That’s not an issue they’re overlooking in any way. These are mothers of athletes, and so that’s not going to get overlooked in the. What is going to happen? I don’t know, because we have to figure out how to not spend half a million dollars on something that is going to not work and two to three years later. So it has to be a part of a long range. What are we doing for three years? What are you doing five years? What are you doing 10 years? We want to spend our money wisely, but we have to address it immediately too.
Speaker 1: I guess I view it at, teachers, administration is constantly moving teachers in classrooms, moving things around. Why is that not happening with locker rooms saying, ”Okay, this one’s for the boy’s and this one’s for the girls.” Why is it not just being rearranged like that? Why does it have to be a money thing?
Corey Tafoya: I don’t know why. I don’t know. I’m just telling you that that’s the way it’s been and until this point we haven’t really questioned it.
Speaker 1: Okay.
Corey Tafoya: That’s why we’re here tonight. If were going to do nothing about it. We certainly wouldn’t be here apart from the issue, we wouldn’t be here tonight. Talk about, we have been talking about for a year and a half.
Speaker 8: What’s your bonding capacity?
Corey Tafoya: Not that great. It’s not that great, we have to get through the Crosby bonds. We don’t have to, we could do more. But we do have a limitation in that because of what we have on the books is so crappy. Actually, our financial advisor gave us some scenarios of what, how fast you could get aggressive with that? What’s your, if you wanted to do issue some new ones, do you want to do 20, 25, 30 years?
Corey Tafoya: So there’s a lot of scenarios and we’re going to need their help and their advice in January when we talk about, locally what we can do. We did have our person come, he met with CFO, Mike Prom, when I three weeks ago and he talked about, what is it you could locally handle within your own? Within your own cash reserves? With additional evidence based money, how much is that locally that you can do without looking at any bond type thing? So that’s what we need to do and then figure out how can we add the grant, they own a construction grant and add to it. Because then we wouldn’t have to do anything with anything bonding at all. But that’s probably not going to be enough to meet the whole needs that we have for the next 10 years, it’ll just be insufficient. So that’s when we get to that point, it’s not great right now.
Corey Tafoya: There are a lot of neat things that are happening. The $50,000 that Steve won will make that even better. The incubator room was all donations. There’s not a single taxpayer dollar that went in there under the recent technology. But those are the things we can do. That’s why we know we’re enthusiastic about the future and the idea is we just need to rally the community to say, ”Let’s support the same and build a better plants.” We’re not looking at this again in 10 more years and wish we had done something.
Corey Tafoya: It’ll be ready before March 1st, because when we send in our application, we want to be able to say, this is ready. It may be just like the first step in, we don’t know what steps two, three, four and five are just yet. But we’ll have certainly some things right. But thinking about what are the priorities first and how would that sequence into a plan, that’s probably the bigger discussion that the board will run in January.
Speaker 1: Is there a cap on them, the amount that a school is allowed?
Corey Tafoya: They haven’t determined that yet.
Speaker 1: So it’s possible that they will cap it?
Corey Tafoya: Yes, I would expect so, just so it’s that cool. There are legislators, they all have their home district. They want to be able to say, ”We gave them a little money to our district.” And so they’re going to spread it all out. Their politicians in the end, they want to have something they can brag about when they go to that parade, the milk they parade or whatever.
John Maurer: If there’s a local share, there’s a built in cap.
Corey Tafoya: That’s very [inaudible 00:40:56]. So I was telling Karen when she was hosting getting ready. I said, the hard part of these meetings so far is they were just literally an invitation to come in and see. Just so you could put your own eyes on and understand, because when the board is refined, the plan and what we’re going to do, we’ll probably again have more meetings and say, ”Okay, these are some of the things we’re thinking about. Give us some direction on what you like. What should we include? What would you support? What don’t you just support?” So we can have more thing.
Corey Tafoya: We need to hear from the students too. We need to ask them. I’m going to shadow a student here at Harvard high on Thursday, and when we do our debrief, we’re going to do it in a podcast style. I’m going to ask her some of the questions. She’s an athlete. I’m going to ask her, what does it feel like when you have your locker room here and then you’re on the volleyball team and you go to Richmond Burton and you go in their locker room, what does that feel like? That’s the things we need to talk about for our kids, the experience they’re having. That’s what moves me actually, is just their experience. I want them to have that experience they deserve. So gets me going. Gets me really going.
Corey Tafoya: I hope this hasn’t felt like down a day a meeting for you, but I think you get a sense of what the imperative is for us to really address this. I think there’s a lot of people with the courage to get creative with the issues and try and figure it out. But it’s going to take us all to continue to be willing to be a part of the conversation and to be, I guess morally little angry about some of the things that we’ve had for long. As Jay said it’s nobody’s fault, but we’re the ones now in this place to fix it, and I think we’re up to the test.
John Maurer: I’d like to say, thank you to all for coming. One of the things we place a tremendously high value on is open and honest conversations and the willingness to engage in the difficult conversations, which some of these are really difficult issues.
Corey Tafoya: So been an educator, I should probably give you some homework, right? Your homework would be, tell your friends what you heard tonight. What you’ve seen, tell people and when those next rounds of meetings come up, they’ll probably be after the start of the new year, invite them to come. Bring some friends along so we can engage more people in the conversation so that we are really designing whatever it is we decided to do with everyone’s input.