Master Facility Planning forum a success

By 
Chris Mcconnell
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Outlook photo by Chris McConnell                        Laurel school board trustees, administrators staff and the public at the Laurel School District Master Facility Plan forum at the Middle School on Tuesday. The attendees broke into groups to discuss questions and thoughts about the MFP then shared their thoughts at the end of the meeting.

Outlook photo by Chris McConnell
          
            Laurel school board trustees, administrators staff and the public at the Laurel School District Master Facility Plan forum at the Middle School on Tuesday. The attendees broke into groups to discuss questions and thoughts about the MFP then shared their thoughts at the end of the meeting.

The Laurel School District held a community forum on Tuesday evening at the Middle School to discuss the district’s Master Facility Plan. School board trustees, administrators, teachers, staff and the public split into groups to discuss likes and concerns with the current 10–15 year plan and to offer suggestions for improvement.

Superintendent Linda Filpula opened the forum by saying “the purpose of meeting is to re–engage the community. Our first goal was accomplished thanks to the voters in the the Laurel School District,” referring to the recent land purchase for a new elementary that passed in the November general election.

Then she gave a brief overview of the current MFP and said the Middle School was built for 600 students and there are currently 640 enrolled. “Moving the 5th grade [to the new 3–5 elementary school] will free up classroom space.”

Also, she said, “moving the transportation center off high school property will create room for a Career and Technical Education facility. It would be nice to have the career center on site.”

Then the attendees broke into trusteeled groups to discuss a series of questions and gathered at the end of the forum to share their discussions.

1. What do you like about the plan? What problems or issues does it address?

Most of the groups reported that they liked the majority of the plan which serves to ease current and future crowding in the schools, lower district operating costs in the long run, make transportation easier for parents and remove the modulars.

Trustee Mike Longbottom said his group thought the plan “accommodates future growth, allows better use of space at the high school and brings a CTE facility closer to reality.”

Trustee Mike Creeden said his group was in favor of combining the plan into one district in five year increments, then the district can address “more immediate steps sooner.”

2. What concerns do you have about the plan? What problems/issues does it create or what issues need to be considered?

Some concerns and questions the groups had with the plan included questioning whether the five–year plan was achievable, whether voters would approve a new elementary school and whether the district was coordinating with Laurel city officials.

Filpula said “Mayor Nelson reached out to us to discuss traffic patterns, etc. We should meet every couple months to coordinate with the city and the county.”

Longbottom suggested adding a third exit to the planned elementary school in case of an emergency and wondered if there would be adequate parking.

3. What is missing from the plan that should be included or addressed?

Several groups brought up the location of the new transportation building, including the possibility of moving it to South school, Logan field, behind West school or the city shops.

Other groups thought the CTE facility should come earlier in the plan and receive more priority than it currently does.

Other thoughts included increasing parking at the high school by removing grass from the west side of the school, which would save money on maintenance costs, as well as purchasing homes around the school to facilitate future expansion.

Ideas for Graff school included turning it into a community center to host staff training, drivers education, hunters safety, community staff meetings and using the gym for larger events. Removing Graff entirely and putting a softball field in the space was also mentioned.

4. What questions do you have about the plan that need to be answered?

Trustee Brittany Hunter’s group said it was important to ask the Laurel community what their wants and needs in district facilities were and the best way to market the plan. “This would be a buy–in for the community and their ideas could be given to the architects,” she said.

Creeden said his group concurred and asked how best to “get the message out there so we can start talking. We should have the school board and city council involved. How soon can we do it?”

After the discussion Filpula said, “This was a great first meeting and this is just a starting point.”

Category:

Upcoming Events

Monday, March 2, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Council Chambers
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, March 5, 2020
First Thursday, 5 p.m., City of Laurel Council Chamber
Monday, March 9, 2020
2nd Mondays, 6:30 p.m., at Wood's Powr-Grip, 908 West Main St., use the west entrance, open to the public. 
Monday, March 9, 2020
2nd Tuesday, 6 p.m., Laurel Public Library

Poll

Which of the billionaire candidates for president have you seen the most ads for?

The Laurel Outlook

 

Click Here to Check Out Our Latest Ads

We use Google cookies to determine our demographic of visitors to our site. You can opt out here.

We also use Twitter Analytics to track clicks from our twitter feed. 

You can find all the City Council documents that we have received here.