• Development of the Bond Proposal

    Salina voters approved a $110.7 million bond issue in April 2014. The bond addresses district needs including safety and security, all-day Kindergarten, career and technical education and improvements at both high schools.  

    Background

    1998 Bond: 

    ·         Did not address all the needs identified

    ·         Said unmet needs would have to be addressed in near future

    ·         Unmet needs were not brought back to the voters until 16 years later

    2012 Facilities Study

    In 2012 the board of education heard a facilities study about the physical assessment of all facilities. This resulted in the board directing school administration to begin the development of a bond project by identifying an architect with which to work.

    The District hired local architecture firm Jones Gillam Renz (JGR) and national design firm DLR Group to lead the study and engage students, staff and the community throughout the planning process.

    Salina USD 305 embarked on a comprehensive study of the district to develop a long-range strategic facilities plan that could result in school modernization and capital improvement projects district-wide.

     Salina USD 305 Long Range Planning Process

    Academic achievement for all students is at the center of every decision made in Salina USD 305. We understand the way students learn today is different than 20, 30 or 40+ years ago, which is why Salina USD 305 has made a commitment to evaluate our current educational model and the facilities that serve our students. We want Salina USD 305 to educate our next generation of leaders and position our community for continued success.

    As a result of this commitment, Salina USD 305 embarked on a comprehensive study of the district to develop a long-range strategic facilities plan that could result in school modernization and capital improvement projects district-wide.

    Six phases 

    1.   Phase I: Engagement

    Organize the District Team Vision Group; discuss educational philosophies; set goals and objectives

    The District, along with JGR and DLR Group, identified a group of students, staff and business professionals charged with creating the vision for Salina USD 305. This core group of individuals, referred to as the District Team Vision Group, met several times over nine months. They created a profile of best educational spaces for students and staff. They focused on environments that are flexible, collaborative spaces that inspire students to learn.

    Ultimately the role of the District Team Vision Group was to make a final recommendation to the Board of Education in the fall of 2013 to outline any resulting facility improvements. The group considered public input as they developed their recommendation.

    2.   Phase II: Collect & Analyze Data

    Review and analyze data and facilities analysis to understand existing conditions and constraints

    During this phase Salina community members provided feedback about the collaborative planning process. At a community meeting they heard an update of the plan, provided input and learned the next steps. One resounding message was strong support for enhanced Career and Technology curriculum to prepare students for college or a career. Patrons ranked their top three priorities for improvements: 
    • Quality of education
    • Safety and security upgrades
    • Building conditions 

    3.   Phase III: Visioning

    Develop a vision for the future of Salina USD 305; evaluate learning environments, technology and community partnerships

    Vision Team members broke into small groups to analyze existing conditions of the District's two high schools. Each group engaged conversations about the benefits and implications of renovating spaces versus building new construction, costs associated with projects, and ways upgraded spaces would enhance education at USD 305.Groups also discussed the types of spaces the District needs to educate students both currently and in the future. All participants made an effort to provide parity and equity among updates at the two high schools.  

    4.   Phase IV: Test

    Evaluate issues of long-term flexibility, efficiency, educational function and budget 

    Community input was received through:
    • Four community meetings (366 community members)
    • Three community surveys (1200 participants in 2010, 2012, 2013)
    • Seven Visioning Committee meetings (January - October 2013)
    • More than six community group meetings
    • Eleven School Site Council meetings 
    • School staff were surveyed

    Based on input, the final recommendation included eliminating preschool construction, removing stadium upgrades and no new competitive gyms.  The changes resulted from feedback gathered at community meetings and from surveys, Vision Team meetings and schools’ Site Council meetings. Information gained from these sources indicated ideas consistently generating strong support included all-day Kindergarten, tornado shelters, security and expanded career and technical education at both high schools.

    After evaluating community feedback, the Vision Team decided against proposing any new competitive gyms and instead settled on recommending a new auxiliary gym for each high school and needed gym space at South Middle School.  

    5.   Phase V: Refinement

    Create a series of recommendations that respond to the goals established in the planning process; community and School Board will ultimately make the final decision

    Between May and November 2013, four community meetings were held to gather input and feedback from patrons regarding the District’s long-range strategic facilities plan. Hundreds of patrons came to hear updates from the Vision Team, which is a group of students, parents, staff, community and business leaders charged with creating the vision for the future of the District.  
     
    6.   Phase VI: Implementation

    Implementing the solutions recommended in the plan

    The bond proposal was approved in April 2014 and construction is currently underway throughout the district. 
     

    The Planning Process

    The District hired local architecture firm Jones Gillam Renz (JGR) and national design firm DLR Group to lead the study and engage students, staff and the community throughout the planning process. 

    Components of the study included:

    ·        A physical assessment of all facilities;

    ·        An analysis of demographic statistics;

    ·        An assessment of educational programs;

    ·        Consensus building with the community;

    ·        An assessment of district operations;

    ·        And an evaluation of financial opportunities, including Federal, State, local and private funds.

    The most exciting component of this process was the opportunity for community involvement. JGR and DLR Group organized and facilitated a series of four community meetings between May and October 2013. Numerous community members participated in these discussions. Their input was invaluable to developing an educationally sound plan that will be sustainable in Salina for years to come.