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zman9810

New Fayetteville High School plans

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Since the location has been decided I thought a new topic would make more sense for the plans to build anew. I hadn't realized it but the district has decided the old building will not be reused. The board thinks that it would not be economically feasible to rehab the present building. The architects think that they should decide what the finished product will be and then work backwards to plan it on the site.

I can understand tearing down portions of the present facility such as the Bates Annex, but it seems at least some of the core building could be reused in order to make it less expensive. Hopefully the architects will pursue all options with the end price tag in mind- it will be hard enough getting a millage increase passed in this economic climate without unnecessary costs. It would have to be a two phase project either way much the way Butterfield Elementary is being done now.

Morning News article

Edited by zman9810

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The Fayetteville School District is looking at several other new high school campuses around the nation to get some idea of what a new FHS could look like. Lawrence High School in Massachusetts is one of schools being looked at. The graphic gives plenty of information about it.

Lawrence_High_School.jpg

Another school being looked at is Covallis High School in Oregon. This school is only 1,400 students grades 9-12 but was built upon the site of the original high school downtown and is LEED certified. Corvalis is the home of Oregon State University so like Fayetteville is a small college town.

800px-Corvallis_High_School.jpg

The other school mentioned on the district site is Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, Washington. It has a student population of around 1,800 grades 9-12. I wasn't able to find a usable jpg of it but the district site has a small pic of it.

While the exterior of the buildings doesn't define what a school is all about it is a place to start the discussion of what a new FHS should be. The bottom line will be what can we afford that will fit the needs of our students and community.

Edited by zman9810

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Thanks for the info. I also hadn't realized they were going to try to renovate the building as well. I also thought renovation was still an option. I never went to FHS so I guess I'm trying to figure out the layout. Is it divided up into a number of different building? Can they get by with demolishing some of the older buildings and put in newer ones without much disruption?

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Thanks for the info. I also hadn't realized they were going to try to renovate the building as well. I also thought renovation was still an option. I never went to FHS so I guess I'm trying to figure out the layout. Is it divided up into a number of different building? Can they get by with demolishing some of the older buildings and put in newer ones without much disruption?

I apologize for not responding to your direct questions sooner- I remember I went searching for a map of FHS and never made it back to post on UP.

Bates Annex is the old Bates Elementary School and is the separate building closest to Sixth St. that should be demolished. The present administration building is adjacent to the large parking lot at the top of the hill and I imagine will be demolished in order to construct the new building on all of that space north of Stone St. and south of the athletic fields. There are several other additions that could be torn down. In this Google Earth image you can see the core building that might be reused in order to keep the costs down.

Presenting a lowest possible millage increase will be important in getting it passed. The last millage increase failed and the economy was in much better shape then. Even though there has been a decision to build anew at the present location there may be some people who see a high millage election defeat as an opportunity call for a new location again.

fayhighschool.jpg

Edited by zman9810

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I apologize for not responding to your direct questions sooner- I remember I went searching for a map of FHS and never made it back to post on UP.

Bates Annex is the old Bates Elementary School and is the separate building closest to Sixth St. that should be demolished. The present administration building is adjacent to the large parking lot at the top of the hill and I imagine will be demolished in order to construct the new building on all of that space north of Stone St. and south of the athletic fields. There are several other additions that could be torn down. In this Google Earth image you can see the core building that might be reused in order to keep the costs down.

Presenting a lowest possible millage increase will be important in getting it passed. The last millage increase failed and the economy was in much better shape then. Even though there has been a decision to build anew at the present location there may be some people who see a high millage election defeat as an opportunity call for a new location again.

fayhighschool.jpg

No worries, had I really thought about it I could have looked it up on Google Earth myself. :D

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The school board has decided that the maximum size of a new high school will be 3,000 students. They are thinking about structuring the school into several smaller schools that are connected in order to deal with the large size. Each smaller school would be a separate learning community with it's own specialized curriculum. Exactly how this would affect planning for the physical plant isn't clear but the size decision gives architects something to start with.

Morning News article

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The Fayetteville School district is holding a design charrette about the plans for the new high school . Here's a link to a schedule of meetings which are being facilitated by the Concordia Group of New Orleans.

FPS liink

One thing that has been decided is that the athletic fields will remain where they are on the north side of the campus, although that should have been an obvious choice without much debate.

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A charette event for developing plans for the new school was held Thursday night. It was meant to include the community in the process and involved the attendees making models of what they would lke to see. It seems the most popular models involved using all the exisiting campus except for the athletic fields for new buildings.

While it is good to have community involvement, this meeting didn't take into account some basic facts. The existing buildings will need to be used for the period that the new facilities are being constructed. The architects have said that the existing buildings shouldn't be reused- they will need be demolished. To try and build new facilities right next to the buildings that are slated for demolition while students are in session is exactly what many people have been against and would add needless expense to the project. Using the large parking lot north of Stone Street for a main facilty is the only sensible solution to the space problem.

Hopefully this isn't an attempt to put forward unworkable plans that would make the price tag for a new school so expensive that the millage increase will have no chance of passing.

Edited by zman9810

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A charette event for developing plans for the new school was held Thursday night. It was meant to include the community in the process and involved the attendees making models of what they would lke to see. It seems the most popular models involved using all the exisiting campus except for the athletic fields for new buildings.

While it is good to have community involvement, this meeting didn't take into account some basic facts. The existing buildings will need to be used for the period that the new facilities are being constructed. The architects have said that the existing buildings shouldn't be reused- they will need be demolished. To try and build new facilities right next to the buildings that are slated for demolition while students are in session is exactly what many people have been against and would add needless expense to the project. Using the large parking lot north of Stone Street for a main facilty is the only sensible solution to the space problem.

Hopefully this isn't an attempt to put forward unworkable plans that would make the price tag for a new school so expensive that the millage increase will have no chance of passing.

Yeah I heard about some of the ideas and I wondered how they could manage to do it while letting school go on during the construction. I didn't know the high school is actually located on the Trails of Tears. But I haven't seen or heard enough about the plans to know which I'd prefer yet.

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Yeah I heard about some of the ideas and I wondered how they could manage to do it while letting school go on during the construction. I didn't know the high school is actually located on the Trails of Tears. But I haven't seen or heard enough about the plans to know which I'd prefer yet.

I wasn't aware of the Trail of Tears connection either. That would have been good to have known when the location debate was occuring and will be useful if there are future debates about the location.

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This is an interesting article about the FHS/ Trail of Tears connection. The SW corner of campus was used as a camping site back in 1839 by 1,100 Cherokees on their forced march to Oklahoma. Fayetteville existed as a small village at the time with the square holding a brick courthouse and a bank. Here's a link to the article about the Trail of Tears connection and another to FayettevilleHistory.com which is a very interesting site about the city.

NWAnews.com article

FayettevilleHistory.com

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This is an interesting article about the FHS/ Trail of Tears connection. The SW corner of campus was used as a camping site back in 1839 by 1,100 Cherokees on their forced march to Oklahoma. Fayetteville existed as a small village at the time with the square holding a brick courthouse and a bank. Here's a link to the article about the Trail of Tears connection and another to FayettevilleHistory.com which is a very interesting site about the city.

NWAnews.com article

FayettevilleHistory.com

Yeah that is very interesting. Thanks for the links. I find it odd this hasn't been promoted more until now.

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The school district paid for a poll of support for a new high school and nearly 80 percent were for a new school. This is good news since a millage increase will be needed to build a new school although I don't think there has ever been a doubt of strong support for a new schoool. The debate earlier was where to have a new school and whether or not to have more than one. The plan now is to have a millage increase election in September so hopefully the site design plan will be published by mid summer at least. The size of the millage increase will have a lot to do with whether it passes or not. Since the increase amount will depend on the design plan it's important that it be finished and on public display so that support can be rallied for the new school.

Morning News article

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The school district paid for a poll of support for a new high school and nearly 80 percent were for a new school. This is good news since a millage increase will be needed to build a new school although I don't think there has ever been a doubt of strong support for a new schoool. The debate earlier was where to have a new school and whether or not to have more than one. The plan now is to have a millage increase election in September so hopefully the site design plan will be published by mid summer at least. The size of the millage increase will have a lot to do with whether it passes or not. Since the increase amount will depend on the design plan it's important that it be finished and on public display so that support can be rallied for the new school.

Morning News article

Yeah it's good that there seems to be a lot of support for the school. I just hope people put their money where their mouth is when the millage comes around. Might be a tougher sell during the current economy.

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I have thought about possible locations for a new high school and since this is completely hypothetical, it made this a fun little excercise. The following are my ideal locations.

One is the development that never got off the ground at the SE corner of Wedington and 540. The location has a lot of potential. It's next to the interstate and is a prime setting to show off Fayetteville's new high school to area visitors and interstate travelers. The new campus would be relatively close to the university allowing HS students to easily attend university classes. I don't know if the land is big enough, however, to accomodate the entire HS campus. Also, the added traffic to an already congested area wold be maddening.

The other location is the old drive-in theatre. It is set further away from 540, but is still convienient to interstate travelers. There appears to be enough available land for even a new football stadium if you consider the land across from the drive-in. On the downside, it favors north Fayetteville and would remove the new HS from a central location.

However, the stretch of sixth street where the current high school is, would greatly benefit from the facelift that a new HS could provide.

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The Fayetteville Board of Education is looking at a master plan that will over time raze all of the existing buildings on campus and replace them with 170,000 sq. ft. of academic space along with a new performing arts center and a new gym. The whole 40 acres would be used with a the performing arts space next to MLK Jr. blvd and the new gym atop the hill. Parking would be around the edges with green space scattered around the campus. It would be built in phases with phase one adding new classroom space, the arts center and new gym and then the old buldings being demolished and the space used in successive phases. The plan is to have it completed by 2012 if a millage increase can be passed this year.

NWANews.com article

FHS Master Plan

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The Fayetteville Board of Education is looking at a master plan that will over time raze all of the existing buildings on campus and replace them with 170,000 sq. ft. of academic space along with a new performing arts center and a new gym. The whole 40 acres would be used with a the performing arts space next to MLK Jr. blvd and the new gym atop the hill. Parking would be around the edges with green space scattered around the campus. It would be built in phases with phase one adding new classroom space, the arts center and new gym and then the old buldings being demolished and the space used in successive phases. The plan is to have it completed by 2012 if a millage increase can be passed this year.

NWANews.com article

FHS Master Plan

Overall the plan seems pretty good. I'd still like to see more details on what the buildings look like. But you have to start somewhere and this covers most of what I probably expected for this point.

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I am torn, I think we need a new high school (education is one of the few things I think should be publicly funded) but I am not very hot about taxes. I was looking at some old records at work, we use to be below 8.5% taxes. Anyone familiar with our tax history to provide some backup. Not even sure when millage rates started.

Lets see what happens, I am sure I will throw in my support but I will beotch about it the whole way through.

I would love to be in charge, so much would change in this state (especially on the tax and spending end).

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I am torn, I think we need a new high school (education is one of the few things I think should be publicly funded) but I am not very hot about taxes. I was looking at some old records at work, we use to be below 8.5% taxes. Anyone familiar with our tax history to provide some backup. Not even sure when millage rates started.

Lets see what happens, I am sure I will throw in my support but I will beotch about it the whole way through.

I would love to be in charge, so much would change in this state (especially on the tax and spending end).

The high school is much needed and the size of the millage increase asked for will play a large part in whether or not it is passed. That's what makes me a bit nervous about the plans as they are coming out for the public to see. I would hate to see the plans become a sure failure when all this work is going into them. It seems like it might be more prudent to figure costs into the designs instead of just saying this is what we want regardless the costs and we won't compromise.

Yeah, the tax debate has many sides and could be discussed at length but hopefully not here. :)

Edited by zman9810

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Yeah no one wants new taxes. But sometimes if you really want something you're going to have to 'pay' for it in some way. It would be great to simply be able to cut back on something else. But anything you cut back is going to make people mad. I think we need a new high school, but I wouldn't be happy if the city decided they were going to simply cut the city trails and sidewalk budget to get it done. Honestly even the city trails and sidewalks budget wouldn't cover it. You'd have to find more to cut. I guess it comes down to this, does the city and it's residents want and need a new high school that badly?

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Yeah no one wants new taxes. But sometimes if you really want something you're going to have to 'pay' for it in some way. It would be great to simply be able to cut back on something else. But anything you cut back is going to make people mad. I think we need a new high school, but I wouldn't be happy if the city decided they were going to simply cut the city trails and sidewalk budget to get it done. Honestly even the city trails and sidewalks budget wouldn't cover it. You'd have to find more to cut. I guess it comes down to this, does the city and it's residents want and need a new high school that badly?

It's important to note that the City of Fayetteville and the Fayetteville Public School District are completely separate entities and their finances have no connection. Regardless of what happens with the millage increase election for the new high school it won't affect funding for any city funded programs. A property tax increase would increase the overall tax burden for residents within the boundaries of the school district, some of which are outside the city boundaries. There are even some areas within the city boundaries whose property taxes don't go to the Fayetteville schools.

I think Fayetteville needs a new high school and the plans that have been suggested look very attractive. I also think that in order for a millage increase to pass the costs of building a new school need to be taken into account when designing those plans. I don't think costs have been taken into consideration so far in the plans that have been advanced and will lead to a request for a millage increase that will be too high to be passed. My concern is that the school board may already realize this but will push for an election that they know is doomed to fail and opening up again the call to move the location of the high school.

A better path of action would be to design a new high school by taking into account the financial realities that we face at this time or putting off the decision until the economy recovers. The current facilty is not in danger of condemnation and will the serve students well enough until the financial situation improves. After all, it isn't the physical space as much as the quality of the experience that is important.

Edited by zman9810

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Yikes! Those are some pricey plans- between $102 and $124 million. It's reported that a 5 mill increase would raise $115 million whle a 4 would only raise $90 million. Ther are no plans to maybe scale it back in order for a property tax increase to have a better chance of passing. With an election being looked at for September it's going to take a major sales job in order to gain support for this. With the economy not forecasted to improve much by that time it will be a hard sell to say the least.

Hopefully this is a sincere attempt to build a new high school on this site and not a ploy to renew the call to move the location. The amount of energy and time being spent on this effort will be wasted and another time consuming and expensive fight will waiting. A Plan b such as a scaled back version or waiting until the economic conditions improve should be looked at.

NWANews.com article

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From what I've heard and read the first reactions to the proposed millage increase have been very negative. Between the economic reasons that some are against for and the dismissal of teacher and coach Greg Matthews it's going to be tough to get the community behind it. The Matthews incident has had a negative impact on the school board's credibilty and it would serve the board well to deal with it to the public's satisfaction.

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From what I've heard and read the first reactions to the proposed millage increase have been very negative. Between the economic reasons that some are against for and the dismissal of teacher and coach Greg Matthews it's going to be tough to get the community behind it. The Matthews incident has had a negative impact on the school board's credibility and it would serve the board well to deal with it to the public's satisfaction.

Yeah the Matthews incident certainly didn't help. But I sorta figured once numbers started getting out on the costs some people would start cooling to the idea about the high school plans. I suppose anything could happen, but at this point I'd be surprised if the millage passes. Maybe given some time to let some issues cool and also time to let the economy get better some of those people could change their mind.

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