What's going on with the driscoll expansion


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Driscoll Expansion Presentation by Driscoll Community Rep, Brookline MA

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What's going on with the driscoll expansion

  1. 1. C O N F I D E N T I A L Driscoll Expansion: What Is Going On? Brookline Advisors
  2. 2. C O N F I D E N T I A L Key Sections • What is the Current Plan? • How Did We Get Here? • How Will This Impact My Kids? – School Growth Impact – Playground/Green Space Impact – Funding Impact • What Can We Afford? • What’s Next? • How Can Parents Get Involved? • Meet the Author 2
  3. 3. C O N F I D E N T I A L What is the Current Plan? • The current plan is to expand Driscoll to 4 sections per grade, adding 200 students1 – Represents a 56% increase from 2010 school size (479 to 747) • “Expand In Place” makes no provision for increasing the school footprint along with student population – No details have been offered on how more students will be accommodated on the site – No details have been provided on how shared spaces will be grossed up for added population • ‘Expand in Place” is inconsistent with prior District and Driscoll additions – The 1950’s Driscoll expansion was built on additional land purchased by the town; there is no such provision in current plan – No exact analysis has been published, but using BSPACE’s own data the plan will result in far higher students/acre of play space than anywhere else in the district (see page 8) 1. HMFH B-SPACE Final Report, August 2013 3
  4. 4. C O N F I D E N T I A L How Did We Get Here? • “Expand in Place” is a major diversion from B-SPACE’s (Brookline School Population & Capacity Exploration) original plan • In April 2013, B-SPACE issued a report listing the three options “best matched with the expressed objectives and constraints”1 – “3+HS Expand In Place” was not on the list – A Driscoll expansion, let alone a very large one, was not on the list • B-SPACE’s final recommendations dropped all three vetted options and recommended the new “Expand in Place” plan – Final recommendation is the most expensive plan at $250MM2 – Key committee members already have said this estimate is low for what they have proposed – even with no provision for an anticipated Pierce rebuild/expansion – B-SPACE did not recommend a full renovation for Driscoll – SC Capital Sub Committee has recommended a “full renovation” but provided no cost analysis or funding commitment in support of such a plan3 1. B-SPACE New School Options-FAQ-4.2.13, p.4 2. B-Space Final Report, 9/5/13, p41 3. Capital Sub-Committee of the Brookline School Committee, Proposal for School Expansion, 9/6/13 p.2 4
  5. 5. C O N F I D E N T I A L How Will An Expansion Impact My Kids? – Disproportionate Growth • Driscoll’s growth has been in line with the district but the planned expansion is not Population Growth Driscoll Town Avg Ex Driscoll 60% 56% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 18% 14% 8% 0% '10-Current Current - Proposed Source: HMFH BSPACE Final Report, August 2013 5
  6. 6. C O N F I D E N T I A L How Will An Expansion Impact My Kids? – Least Green Space In Town • Playground space per student is already below average and will get much worse pro forma for growth Kids/Playground Acre Driscoll Town Avg Ex Driscoll 250 228 200 150 129 119 107 100 50 2010 Proposed Source: HMFH BSPACE Final Report, August 2013; square footage grown pro rata for existing sq ft/student at expanding schools 6
  7. 7. C O N F I D E N T I A L How Will An Expansion Impact My Kids? – Low Investment • Current budget projections for Driscoll seem low compared to Devotion Brookline Public School Site K‐8 ‐ Current Devotion School Driscoll School Current 2010 Student Student Population Population (HMFH) (MSBA) 726 479 Proposed Enrollement Increase (BSPACE) 821 547 Current Bldg. sf 0 200 162,000 90,292 Capital Spend ($MM) (OAC Study) Added Enrollment $ Per 2010Added BSPACE Enrollment 90 30 95 268 Implied Devo/Driscoll Spend per seat: 947,368 111,940 8.5x Sources: HMFH BSPACE Final Report, August 2013; capital spend comes from Deputy Town Administrator presentation to Override Study Committee, 10/18/13 7
  8. 8. C O N F I D E N T I A L What Can We Afford? • Any capital plan will require funding from new debt, state aid, and quite likely one or more tax rate increase overrides – No specific funding plan has yet been developed – No specific capital plan has yet been developed • “No one is in a position to promise Driscoll anything” - Chair of the Capital Subcommittee of the Advisory Board – There is no assurance of any kind of renovation – There is no assurance that any specific student/facility ratios will be maintained • Any plan to do more than add classrooms at Driscoll will have to compete with many other capital priorities – Master plan for school growth yet to be defined – Town has large unfunded Pension and OPEB liabilities – Town has substantial non-school capital improvement needs 8
  9. 9. C O N F I D E N T I A L Driscoll Growth is Full Steam Ahead – Feasibility, Funding are Not • Driscoll mega- growth is going forward without any practical assurances for the community – Nearly all practical questions have been answered with ‘we’re not at that stage yet’ • $30MM figure for sizeable expansion sounds low to architects and planners we have consulted and is based on the Runkle budget which was a renovation, not a 200 seat expansion and renovation • Though very few specifics have been offered a Driscoll expansion is considered a ‘done deal’ – No feasibility study has yet been undertaken – Very few numbers have been published by any committee or department – …Yet project is a ‘done deal’ in the eyes of key committees No One Advocating For Driscoll Growth Has Guaranteed A Quality Outcome Driscoll Should Know What It Is Getting/Not Getting Before A Project Is Greenlighted, Not After 9
  10. 10. C O N F I D E N T I A L What’s Next? • The Superintendent of Schools will submit a Statement of Interest to the MSBA seeking state aid for a Driscoll expansion in Q1 2014 – DSCAC has asked that the Driscoll Community be involved in this proposal and offered to provide a professional capital needs analysis for free – 11/5/13 response from School Committee essentially declined both proposals1 • The Driscoll Community should receive assurances that any growth plan provide adequately for: – Green space consistent with existing resource/student ratios – Common space expansion consistent with existing resource/student ratios – Expansion spend consistent with Devotion spend Establishing key ratios before an SOI is submitted and in all subsequent expansion documents seems like a key minimum protection for Driscoll’s interests 1. Letter from Chairman Morse to DSCAC, 11/6/13 10
  11. 11. C O N F I D E N T I A L What Can Interested Parents Do? • • Fill out online survey so we can aggregate Parent sentiment and priorities Attend key committee meetings – Override Study Committee and its sub committees – Capital Sub Committee of the Advisory Board – School Committee – School Committee Capital Sub Committee • – Sign up for meeting notices at BrookOnLine1 Ask Questions – Contact committee members • – Contact Town Meeting Members; 4 Town Meeting districts send students to Driscoll accounting for ~ 25% of all TMMs Make contact with other engaged parents – Driscollaction.com – https://www.facebook.com/groups/BrooklineNewSchool/ – Driscollexpansion.org 1.http://www.brooklinema.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1200&Itemid=1497 11
  12. 12. C O N F I D E N T I A L Driscoll PTO Community Representative • • • • Hello, my name is Sundar Srinivasan. I am a Driscoll Parent and the husband of a BHS and Devotion alum. I volunteered to be the ‘PTO Community Representative on the Driscoll Expansion Project’ because I wanted to find out more about the proposed plans and how they will impact Driscoll, our town and our pocketbooks. I have no preconceived notions or agenda other than wanting to make sure any proposed plan is reasonable and realistic. You can reach me at sundar@driscollexpansion.com or look for me most mornings at drop off on the west side of the school. Feel free to stop me with any questions or ideas. This document is meant to provide parents with information about where things stand, key known’s and unknown’s, and ways to find out more on your own. Also attached is a survey about the project. By polling the community we can quantify what people care about and what they do not. 12