Parents, officials offer input on facility plan

Joshua Kellogg

FARMINGTON — Farmington school district administrators and a small group of community members discussed a proposed update to the district’s facility master plan during a meeting this afternoon.

E. Ailene O'Byrne, a senior facility programmer with Architectural Research Consultants Inc., delivers a presentation Wednesday during a meeting about a proposed update to the district’s facility master plan.

The Farmington Municipal School District presented the meeting to allow parents and community members to discuss possible changes to the district’s 2014-2106 facility master plan. The plan will serve as a guide for school improvement projects across the district if a proposed $26 million bond measure scheduled for early 2017 is approved by voters.

Only a few parents and community members attended the meeting, as the district’s board room was mostly full of district staff members, including administrators and principals.

Sharon Allen attended the meeting to learn more about the proposed work for Country Club Elementary School, where two of her children are enrolled. Allen, a member of the school's PTA, said the group was raising money to replace outdated playground equipment. She was happy to see the district host a public meeting to discuss the quality of district schools.

“It’s great. I like to know where my (tax) money goes,” Allen said.

Playground equipment replacement and improvement were some of the items listed as a possible project for Country Club Elementary School.

Ailene O’Byrne of Architectural Research Consultants Inc. (ARC) led the meeting by giving a presentation about the work the firm did updating the plan and briefly discussed proposed projects at each district school and building.

A Senior Facility Programmer at ARC, O’Byrne said most of the possible projects focus on repairs of building roofs, and heating and conditioning systems, along with renovations of existing spaces, including classrooms, school kitchens and elementary school playgrounds. She said she was impressed by the quality of the conditions at district’s schools.

PTA member Sharon Allen talks at the conclusion of a meeting on Wednesday about a proposed update to the Farmington Municipal School District’s facility master plan.

“(The district) has some of the nicest buildings we have ever seen,” O’Byrne said.

A proposal to build new classrooms at McCormick Elementary School was the only project that included new construction.

Superintendent Gene Schmidt said the district has to focus on smaller projects as the amount of state funds for school construction has dropped in recent years.

Toward the end of the meeting, Anngela Wakan asked Schmidt about working with the city of Farmington to install more equipment near Bluffview Elementary School to alert drivers of its school zone. As the Safe Routes to Schools coordinator for the city of Farmington, Wakan works to improve the safety of students walking and biking to school.

Schmidt replied the district will include Bluffview in a discussion with city employees about installing new street safety equipment at Farmington High School.

Parents and school officials listen to a presentation Wednesday during a meeting about a proposed update to the Farmington Municipal School District’s facilitt master plan.

“It was good,” Wakan said after the meeting. “I liked that they had time for questions, and they listened. I feel like will address it in follow-up meetings.”

The updated facility master plan is scheduled to voted on  by the Board of Education at a future meeting.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.