New Construction

Concepts and Roles in Planning for Educational Facilities

It shall be the policy of the Board of Education to provide an annual Capital Improvement Plan for its educational facilities when needed.  This Capital Improvement Plan will be maintained as the instrument for determining the need for new facilities or for major facility improvements.  This policy shall be updated annually.  The Capital Improvement Plan will incorporate local demographics, community use of educational facilities, projected enrollments, local educational philosophies and policies, existing and planned educational programs, existing facilities, and the ability of the local electorate to provide needed facilities.

The policy reflects the responsibility of the Board of Education to plan for education facilities and local legislative body's responsibility to raise funding for and construct educational facilities.  This policy governs major renovation and construction projects.  The definition of a major renovation or construction project is determined through budgetary process.  Projects which are implemented by the local legislative body and are not maintenance oriented are governed by this policy.

A.  Goals and Objectives

(1)  Identify an educational need for a new facility or renovation to an existing facility.

(2)  Plan for a new facility or renovation to an existing facility.

(3)  Gain public approval for the construction or renovation of a facility.

(4)  Construct or renovate a facility.

B.  Assumptions

This policy assumes all educational programs will be housed in spaces that comply with applicable building codes and regulations.  Further, this policy assumes that spaces provided to educational programs shall not hinder the attainment of educational goals and objectives and that the goal of the Board of Education is to provide facilities with the best possible conditions for attaining educational goals.

C.  Community

(1)  It is recognized that while public educational facilities are constructed primarily for public educational activities, they are owned by the public and will be made available for public use whenever that use does not adversely effect educational activities.  The design of educational facilities shall take into consideration public use and make accommodations for that use wherever practical.  Some of the community uses which will be considered include Town Recreation Departments, use of facilities for emergency shelters and non-profit organizations.

(2)  Community demographic information will be considered.  Some of the information to be considered will include road maps with existing and planned sidewalks, maps and descriptions of existing and planned industrial and housing changes, population statistics and local and regional planning studies past, present, and future.

D.  Enrollment

The projection of student enrollment is recognized as an essential element of the long range plan.  The CLRFP will be based on the best available information on present and future enrollments.  However, it is understood that any projection is based upon assumptions and subject to inherent weaknesses.  Projections will be considered the best estimate at a given point in time.  Given this assumption, enrollment projections will be updated annually and when new data becomes available or when assumptions change or prove untrue.

(1)  The methods that may be used to predict enrollment include cohort survival, students per dwelling unit and/or percentage of total population.

(2)  Some of the statistics concerning enrollment which will be maintained include the past 5 (five) year enrollment, 5 (five) year predictions, and enrollment summaries by school for past year, present year, and next year.  Other statistics will include non-public school enrollment by grade level and students with identified learning disabilities by district and by grade for each school.  Existing school districting maps and plans to redistrict will be included.

E.  Educational Philosophies and Policies

To the extent that educational philosophies and policies effect facilities, they will be considered in the development of the district's CLRFP.

F.  Educational Programs

The Board of Education recognizes that facilities form must be based on the activity to be housed.  Facilities that do not conform fully hinder fulfillment of the goals and objectives of the programs housed as well as the philosophy and objective of the curriculum.

G.  Facilities

The CLRFP will consider the capacity of existing facilities and their adequacy to house existing educational programs.

(1)  The CLRFP will consider individual building inventories consisting of construction dates, renovation dates, floor plans, legal capacity by space, type of construction, listing of educational spaces and handicap access information.

(2)  Retirement of Buildings

A building owned by the school district may be retired from use when the Board of Education determines that it is no longer useful to the district and/or is unsuitable to the current needs or projected needs of the district.  The CLRFP shall be one basis for considering the closing of a facility.  Recognizing that the closure of a facility may well be an emotional one, the Board of Education will appoint a committee representing a cross-section of opinion in the school district as well as representing the people in the area served by the facility to study the issue and to recommend alternatives for the Board to consider, including retirement, alternative use, remodeling, continuation in use, or any other recommendations the committee might choose to make.

When a building is retired and it is determined that it no longer serves a useful purpose in the educational process, it shall be turned over to the Town and shall no longer be operated or maintained by the Board of Education.  The Board of Education may wish to make recommendations to the Town as to how the Board of Education or local interest group(s) may wish to have the facility utilized in the future.

(3)  Naming a Facility

It shall be the prerogative of the Board of Education to establish the need and appropriateness for naming any school unit, which includes all outdoor and indoor facilities of the school.  When the need has been determined, the Board shall appoint a committee chaired by the Superintendent or designee and composed of two citizens from the immediate community or district served by the school, a representative from each of the following - teachers, administrators, PTO, two students from the school, and one alumni.

The school-naming committee shall then present a list of not less than three names nor more than five names to the Superintendent who will forward them to the Board.

The Board shall then make the final selection of the name from the list of three (3) names submitted by the committee.

It shall be the general policy to name schools and school facilities for deceased persons who have attained prominence locally and nationally, or in the fields of education, science, art, statesmanship, political science, or military achievement; early pioneers of the community or the State of Connecticut; outstanding Presidents of the United States of America; or geographical landmarks.

H.  Finance

It is recognized by this policy that the Town has the responsibility of funding the construction of educational facilities, however, this policy also recognizes the need to plan new facilities within the Town's ability to pay.  This policy requires that a liaison be established with the Town when a particular need is determined for new facilities or for improvement to existing facilities.  As soon as possible after a project has been identified an estimate of the cost will be developed and given to the Town for consideration and inclusion in the Town's 5 (five) year Capital Improvement Plan.

Further, this plan will require investigation of all sources of funds that will defray direct costs to the local taxpayers including, but not limited to, State Department of Education grants and Federal grants.

I.  Conclusions

An annual list of facility inadequacy and/or future needs shall be developed and presented to the Board of Education for their consideration.

Policy adopted:  October 5, 1999

Policy revised and approved:  March 19, 2019


Portland, Connecticut