The Fayetteville-Manlius School District Board of Education is asking its community task force on facilities to reach a consensus March 20 on what the board should consider for the school district’s next capital project.
Comprised of nearly 40 members representing the community and the district, the F-M Community Facility Task Force will meet for the fourth time 6 p.m. March 20 in Wellwood Middle School’s cafeteria.
The meetings, which are led by an outside facilitator, are open to the public but do not include a public comment session. The group is expected to make a formal recommendation to the board on April 3 on the feasibility of a future Wellwood capital project.
At its Jan. 9 meeting, the board of education charged the task force with reviewing the district’s highest priority facility needs, including the repair/renovation of Wellwood Middle School, and to discuss how to balance the many facilities needs district wide with the desires of the F-M community and its students’ educational needs.
In addition to reviewing district documents and data, the task force has taken part in a building walk-through at Wellwood and had the opportunity to ask questions of the district’s architects, engineers and staff familiar with the facilities.
At the March 13 board meeting, board members discussed the charge of the task force and on which facility projects the task force should be focusing. The board agreed the scope should be targeted on Wellwood and that the administration and board would develop next steps should the board accept the task force’s recommendation on what to do about Wellwood’s many needs.
The board is asking the task force to consider four options and to rank them in order of preference:
Option 1: Basic Renovation Project: Includes new central HVAC system; roof; windows (1933 portion of building); finish upgrades (ceilings, flooring, casework); renovation of kitchen/serving areas; new elevator(s) in accordance with building code; and asbestos removal.
Option 2: Enhanced Renovation/Classroom Additions: Includes same scope of work identified in option 1 plus a building addition to relocate classrooms and cafeteria/kitchen/serving areas from basement and infill the floor plate above the cafeteria across from the main office.
Option 3: Ideal Educational Addition/Renovation: This work involves a complete reconfiguration of the
internal 1933 portion of the facility while maintaining the exterior shell. Options 1 and 2 could also be incorporated into this option.
Option 4: New Building, the board decided March 13 to officially add this option to the task force’s charge since some board members felt it is already being discussed by community members. The option of a new building initially was not included in the charge because of the anticipated costs that would be involved in constructing a new school next to the existing building and then demolishing the existing structure.
A K-12 Facilities Study Report submitted to the board in October by educational consultants School Leadership, LLC, identified five possible facility project options for board members to consider as they create a new long-range facility plan. After receiving community input and evaluating the five possible options, the board winnowed down the options in determining that it will maintain K-8 school campuses in both Fayetteville and Manlius. Before making a decision on how to solve Wellwood’s needs, which will effect decisions on other district facilities, the board decided to garner more community feedback by establishing the Community Facility Task Force.
If the task force recommends only a mechanical upgrade to Wellwood, meaning updating necessary infrastructure such as the heating and ventilation system, and the board agrees, a proposal could go before voters in June. A public vote on anything beyond mechanical updates would likely take place in the fall.
To review the planning process to date and weigh in, visit the F-M Let’s Talk! web page at fmschools.org/let’stalk.
I am a reporter for the Eagle Bulletin and Cazenovia Republican at Eagle News. I report on topics ranging from town and village government, business, news and features. I am a 2014 graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and have a degree in Journalism and a minor in Psychology.