Long Range Facilities Plan
Strategic planning is a hallmark of the district's approach to effective governance, responsible stewardship and excellence in education. The district develops long range strategic plans in many areas including curriculum, technology, facilities / grounds, and our comprehensive plan. Long range planning allows the district to focus on the highest priorities in order to best meet the safety and instructional needs of students. Planning supports continually looking at current and future needs - adapting to change and adopting best practices.
Read more about district-wide planning here.
Why Do We Have a Long Range Facilities Plan?
- While the district has always supported planning for capital projects, we have been formally planning and strategically providing funding for facilities and grounds maintenance since the 2012-13 school year.
- We believe that districts that have consistent capital investment funding are more able to provide healthy, safe, sustainable, and educationally appropriate school facilities.
- Planning for the future provides the Board with the best opportunity to understand funding requirements by year and to develop stable, sustainable and fiscally responsible budgets and borrowing plans in order to offer reasonable and predictable tax schedules to our taxpayers.
- A long range plan offers transparency and community engagement considering needs of all stakeholders and adopting balanced solutions.
Click to view our UCF Success for All: Stewardship Video
- Buildings and Grounds Planning Principles
- Long Range Facilities Plan
- History of Long Range Facilities Planning
- History of Improvements Supported by the Plan
- We follow state and district standards for building and field use.
- We need to consider facilities when approving the addition of new programs.
- We follow all bid approval procedures as required by state law and our own board policy in order to do detail design work and discuss projects publicly in board meetings.
- Develop plans that span 10-15 years but only fund the plans 3 to 4 years at a time. This complies with the PA Department of Education guidelines, and insures that the District is not over-borrowing for projects
- Our internal maintenance staff have a wide range of skills and are committed to excellent work. As a result, we can keep subcontractor use to a minimum, saving the district money. Careful maintenance allows us to routinely exceed normal industry standards for life expectancy of equipment and facilities.
- 2012-13 - The Board approves a Board goal tasking UCF administration to "Complete Long Range Plan"
- July 2013 - proposal from M&M Architects for facilities study at Hillendale and Patton to identify and prioritize renovation needs. M&M used Gipe Associates, Inc. as sub-consultants for HVAC, Electrical and Mechanical recommendations.
- November 2013 - Administration presents long range plan to the Board (see attached). This becomes the guiding document for facilities work.
- October 2015 - Long Range Plan is updated (see attached)
- May 2017 - Long Range Plan is updated (see attached)
- March 27, 2017 - Facilities Committee Meeting to discuss updating our Long Range Plan out to 2026
Documents supporting the meeting
Link to video of meeting
- May 8, 2017 - The Board discussed the long range plan at the Work Session and asked Administration to find a third party vendor to do a campus plan. All board members gave a "head nod" to move forward in that direction.
Link to video of meeting (See minutes 10:00 to 35:15)
- October 9, 2017 - The Board discusses at the Work Session a request for proposal (RFP) for site study to include overall footprint and athletic facilities. RFP is attached.
Administration reviewed proposals from K&W and ELA. K&W’s proposal outlined a more thorough approach at a lower cost.
- November 20, 2017 - The Board approved (9-0) for K&W Engineers to prepare an Outdoor Facilities Master Plan.
- June 11, 2018 - The Board receives a presentation by K&W at the Work Session on the current status of site study and proposed plan.
- Continued communication with community
- September K&W Presentation - K&W presented recommendations on how to use grounds and a process for prioritizing upgrades based on safety and cost. View the K&W Outdoor Facility Study - Strategy Starts Here
- October 2018 - Board discussed the Long Range Facilities Plan, raising questions for administration to consider.
- November 2018- Board reviewed a draft of the Long Range Facilities Plan
- This plan included existing Long Range Plan components (largely indoor) and some components of the outdoor plan
- Items from the K&W report that the UCFSD elects to not include in the Long Range Facilities Plan were added to the last plan section “Potential Considerations for the Future”
- Dec 10, 2018 - Administration facilitated a Community Conversation around the Long Range Facilities Plan.
Click here to view a summary of the Community Conversation
Click here to view the Outdoor Facilities - Alternative Options/Layout presented at Community Conversation
January 14, 2019 - Long Range Facilities Plan:Options for the Scope of Work and Financing. Administration provided additional rationale for double turf field and update on AG 707.
February 11 School Board Work Session - Board discussed scope of work options and financing for the first three years of the Long Range Facilities Plan.
February 25, 2019 - During their February meeting, the School Board approved financing for the first 4 years of the Long Range Facilities Plan.
- During the spring of 2014 - the Board approved 1.3 million dollars in facilities work district-wide - including $611,000 for a new roof at HES. This was year one of the Long Range Plan
- During 14-15 school year the Board approved nearly 3.2 million dollars in facilities work district-wide - including 2.7 million to renovate the PMS main office. This was year two of the Long Range Plan.
- During the 15-16 school year the Board approved 2.8 million dollars in facilities work district-wide - including 1.7 million to renovate the PMS auditorium. This was year three of the Long Range Plan.
- During the 16-17 school year the Board approves 3.7 million dollars in facilities work district-wide - including 2.3 million to replace the PMS HVAC units.
Why have we heard that the outdoor facilities plan is costing $10 million dollars?
Currently there is no plan to spend $10 million dollars on our outdoor facilities. That number was thrown out as a “ball park” number of what everything in the draft plan might cost if fully built out. The final plan, was presented in September, and featured conceptual level estimate ranges for each element of the plan. This allows the plan to cost whatever the Board, community, and administration believe is the right amount to spend in order to support our programs, and maintain our facilities in a safe and fiscally responsible manner.
Consultant self-serving in recommending this work in order to get follow up business.
The District follows state bidding requirements in awarding design and construction work. It’s possible that K&W could be awarded work in the future but it would be done through a competitive RFP process that would provide the most value to the District.
Facilities are fine and require no upgrades - majority of those surveyed think things are fine.
Only 1/10 of our constituents participated in the survey. The results from the survey do not support this. The life expectancy of current facility materials and Tennis courts are over 25 years old and need to be replaced anyway - this is a good opportunity to do that.
Facilities are fine for school use and upgrades are being done only for outside organizations.
Most of the upgrades being proposed are prioritized based on improving the overall safety of the campus. The other elements are being proposed either as a result of the safety upgrades (relocation of tennis courts), or to improve current site deficiencies (parking, sloped fields, etc.). There is no additional space being built for outside organizations to use.
Unionville Elementary School
(View Time Saved for Students and Families with Additional Quad Turf and Tennis Courts)
How would the double turf field benefit our middle school students?
All middle school students take PE twice a week for the entire year. Outside PE class would occur on the double turf, daily, weather permitting, from August - November, and March - June - providing students with fresh air and natural light - two key factors in student wellness. Additionally, the double turf would be used for HawkTime on Fridays
Why do students need to spend so much time outside for PE?
The gym is small and class sizes are large. The double turf field will provide a more consistent outdoor teaching space for kids/classes to spread out. When fields are closed, instruction can be challenging and limited with all of the students in the gym.
Why can’t the middle school students just use the high school turf for PE class?
The HS turf field is far from the middle school nurse's office. Using the HS turf field costs about 8 minutes of class time, this is in addition to the 5 minutes before and the 5 minutes at the conclusion of class that kids are allotted to get changed. This takes up a large chunk of the 42 minute class period.
Aren’t PE classes held on the fields that are currently in place? What difference would having a turf field make?
Middle school PE cannot use the grass fields when they are wet from rain or melting snow. This includes several days after a storm when fields are still soft. It is hard to quantify how many days of outdoor PE is lost due to poor weather conditions, however, Physical Education teachers estimate losing about 1 month in the fall and 1 month in the spring. Additionally, like all other fields on our campus, the fields behind Patton need to rest - especially our varsity softball field.
Why are we replacing our existing synthetic turf field? Will the new field be better?
Our current synthetic turf field is due for replacement, and by replacing it we will make the field safer for our athletes. Currently, the fibers are frayed, broken, and fallen over. A new surface will allow the fibers to stand up vertically and keep the crumb rubber down below the fibers. The newer dual fiber turf also provides better “fly-out” control which helps keeps the crumb rubber in the base of the field instead of on the surface where it is currently located in our older worn-out field.
Are there alternatives to using crumb rubber in a synthetic turf field?
Over the past few years, manufacturers have brought other types of infill solutions to market; cork, coconut husks, TPM rubber, EPDM rubber, etc, and none have caught on to replace crumb rubber. Some of these have created maintenance concerns, some usability concerns, and some were just too expensive to justify the premium costs.
Are there negative health effects on athletes who practice/play on synthetic turf fields?
Over the past 3-4 years there have been numerous additional reports and studies by various state agencies that have concluded that there is no definitive link to crumb rubber and health effects on athletes.
Synthetic turf research - answers to common questions
Synthetic turf pitches with rubber granulate infill - are there health risks
Citizen science often overstates ‘cancer clusters’ like the one linked to artificial turf
FIFA statement on potential cancer risks from exposure to SBR in artificial turf fields
Ripken foundation - Crumb rubber cancer risk at or below 1 in a million
What research has been done regarding this concern?
One of the more current studies (2017) is from the Washington State Board of Health. This study was in direct response to the University of Washington soccer coach Amy Griffen who in 2014 observed high cancer rates in soccer goalies. This was later picked up by NBC news and made national headlines.The Washington SBH report, dispels the notion that there is a connection between youth cancer cases and playing soccer on recycled rubber fields. Additionally, a key finding that the SBH investigators found, was that most athletes identified on the list actually spent the majority (70-74%)of their careers playing and practicing on natural grass fields.