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Aurora Public Schools Aurora, Colorado Presentation to CEFPI Southwest Regional Conference May 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Aurora Public Schools Aurora, Colorado Presentation to CEFPI Southwest Regional Conference May 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aurora Public Schools Aurora, Colorado Presentation to CEFPI Southwest Regional Conference May 2012

2 About the Aurora Public Schools district Repair or replace, the decision process Managing design and construction Project examples Todays Presentation

3 About Aurora Public Schools Brief history: The Aurora Public Schools district serves a heavily residential community on the eastern edge of Denver. Founded in 1885, the Aurora district remained essentially rural for the first 65 years of its history. Significant development began at the end of World War II and continued at a steady pace until the late 1980s. Following a lull in the 1990s, growth resumed around 2001with the construction of an outer beltway through the undeveloped east of the district. Student community: Ethnicity: 54 % hispanic, 18 % white, 18 % black, 10 % all other English as second language: 38 % (86 % Spanish speakers) Free and reduced lunch: 69 % Graduation rate: 55 % Key facts: 144 square miles 60 % developed 39,000 students 27 % student growth since 2002 Average age of school buildings: 28 years

4 About Aurora Public Schools – facilities 4.6 million square feet $900 million replacement Enrollment to capacity of major school types: elementary : 102 % p to 8 : 94 % middle : 78 % high : 88 % Of 28 schools constructed in 1972 or earlier: 16 replaced or remodeled (57 % ) 3 replaced 13 remodeled 12 not yet remodeled (43 %)


6 Setting the priority for school renewal and making the repair vs. replace decision: The decision environment Who decides ? Factors that drive the decision

7 The decision environment The decision: There is no one size fits all formula to answer whether a school should be remodeled or replaced. Much depends on the district circumstances. The right answer can be different even for two neighboring districts. Key variables: Backlog of schools in need of attention Short and long term financial capacity of the district Competing needs for capital funds School and site specific factors

8 AccomplishmentsNeeds Remodeled or replaced two high schools one 6 to 12 school two middle schools twelve elementary schools Not remodeled two high schools four middle schools fourteen elementary schools Less than half of all schools more than 30 years old in 2012 have been remodeled. Aurora Public Schools Key Variable : Backlog of schools in need

9 Competing needs In the near term, there are many competing needs for capital construction funds. Districts must balance the needs for school remodel or replacement against: new schools to accommodate growth major facility repairs additions and renewal less extensive full remodels rapidly expanding cost of information technology Key Variable : Competing needs

10 Key Variable : Financial constraints

11 Key Variable : Site specific

12 Long Range Facilities Advisory Committee - primary responsibility for planning district bond programs 18 members including : School administrators Teachers Parents / community members Support Staff Local government officials Role in selecting whole building remodels Visit every school meeting age criteria Review building condition functional evaluation enrollment/ capacity data Repair vs. replace ? (Construction staff input) Vote list for recommendation to board of education Final decision by board of education Who decides ?

13 Repair or replace the decision process Typical whole building remodel Add 15 % to 25 % to building square feet Budget equals about 50 % of replacement cost Repair major systems as needed Functionally improved to approach ed. spec. standard for a new school Guided by site-based design advisory group Budget driven

14 Why we frequently favor remodel over replacement: Limited funds stretch twice as far, this is the largest single factor Strong community identification with an existing structure Unless the need is very obvious, demolition can be perceived as wasteful Housing the students during construction is a difficult problem: Construction of the new school typically requires an entire school year Our district lacks empty / low capacity school buildings Most of our school sites are too small to build a new school next to the old

15 Where replacement buildings were the better choice Poor functional layout that didnt offer opportunity for successful remodel Existing school square footage needed to be expanded by more than 50 % to meet enrollment capacity target Very small site required going vertical to achieve necessary size

16 30.6 % Replacements

17 Managing the design process Project Schedule – 22 -24 months from project start to opening the remodeled school 10 – 12 months from selection of architect to bid opening Start design process in fall or early winter so that stakeholder meetings can be completed in the school year before the construction. Design Development and/or Construction Document phases over the summer Bid in the fall with General Contractor on board before Winter Break Additions can start as early as Winter Break and proceed during the school year Allow contractor downtime, late shifts or quiet activities during Standard Testing period in the spring. Schedule some tasks over Spring Break in existing building. Contractor given existing building following last day of school.

18 Managing the design process Stakeholder Meetings Design Advisory Groups – Architects Design Team and Districts Project Coordinator meets with a stakeholder group at the school site to set a design concept that meets districts goals for the project. District Team Meetings – Three project review meetings are held with Support Services stakeholders and the Design Team. At the Schematic Design presentation all departments are invited to a presentation of the sites design concept and to provide feed back. Any comments that affect the design solution are taken back to the Design Advisory Group. Design Development and Construction Document review meetings allow Maintenance and Operations, IT, Nutrition Services, Transportation and Security to provide input on technical aspects of the project. A representative from the school staff will also attend.

19 Managing the design process Educational Specifications District has developed Educational Specifications for new buildings. These are used as a guideline for remodels recognizing that not all standards can be met. Templates – Educational Specifications are written for a standard capacity. Templates have been developed for schools of existing or projected capacity. Classroom size – assuming existing classroom size is close to educational specifications, new classrooms match existing size not educational specifications. If dramatically undersized, small classrooms are repurposed or enlarged. Budget limits how many spaces can be brought up to educational specifications. Design Advisory Group makes decisions on which spaces are most important.

20 Managing the design process Surprises Code Issues – Area Separation walls vs adding a fire suppression system Quality of archive drawings – Having a good archive room can make architects too comfortable Discovery of items outside the walls of the existing building Old foundations Asbestos wrapped pipe Underground electrical, low voltage wiring, gas lines Project Contingency is important on a remodel project

21 Construction contracting & process for remodels Nine elementary school remodels (1997 to 2012) Sealed bid award; restricted bidders list Students remained on site during construction Typical timelines Projects bid in early fall (September / October) Construction of additions starts in January Some critical work at winter and spring break, evenings Last day of school at end of April Remodel old building (including asbestos abatement) Completion in mid-July School resumes first week in August

22 Construction contracting & process for remodels One high school and middle school CM/GC with GMP; contractor selected at the end of SD Students remained on site during construction Multiple construction and asbestos abatement phases Students relocated from construction zones: For middle school, nine two-classroom mobiles brought on site as swing space For high school new additions built first and used as swing space, plus only two mobiles needed Construction duration: 18 months for middle school 30 months for high school

23 Construction contracting & process for remodels Construction Calendar The district creates a calendar for schools being remodeled. Current model uses longer days and make changes to teacher workdays and in-service days to end school one month earlier than other schools in the district. Contractors receive the entire site for 2.5 months instead of 6 weeks. Earlier version of Construction Calendar had students leaving two weeks earlier than the district calendar in the year before the summer work and coming back two weeks later. Separating students from construction activities Communicating to staff and parents particularly on the asbestos issue

24 Construction contracting & process for remodels Some surprises on remodel projects Structural tie-ins to the existing building Building department changes at time of permitting Soils conditions not matching soils report Phasing of new work with existing utilities Enrollment changes between conception of project and construction

25 Project Examples

26 Paris Elementary Replacement Replaced 17,989 sqft single-story with 48,000 three-story school 2.3 acre site ! Capacity increased from 216 to 413

27 Paris Elementary Replacement

28 Sable Elementary Remodel Connected four campus-plan buildings New media center Partitioned 10,000 sqft open space building

29 Sable Elementary Remodel

30 Sixth Avenue Elementary Remodel Added 14,000 square feet New admin, media, kitchen/cafeteria Increased capacity by 150 Improved circulation & accessibility Reoriented site for better access

31 Sixth Avenue Elementary Remodel

32 Aurora Hills Middle School Replacement Replaced 1970 s windowless, open space design with day-lit, LEED bldg New school constructed next to old

33 Aurora Hills Middle School Replacement


35 West Middle School Remodel Connected two buildings with kitchen/café, media center, classroom addn. Preserved 1932, historic-status district original high school bldg.

36 West Middle School Remodel

37 Hinkley High School Remodel Connected two buildings with central spine addition Reorganized school in four small learning communities New commons, office suite, media center

38 Hinkley High School Remodel

39 1. There is no single right answer to the remodel or replace question. A lot depends on unique district circumstances. 2. Your district renewal plan will be constrained by competing needs and the importance of maintaining a level of equity across the district. 3. Use a district level planning community including patrons, educators, staff and community members to set priorities. 4. Maintain tight budget control over remodels. 5. Allow and require the school design advisory group to make tradeoffs in determining remodel scope. Final Thoughts

40 6. Ed. specs. may need to be adjusted for school size and unique programs. 7. Early and constant attention to schedule will save headaches and money. 8. Consider a construction calendar to add days to the summer. 9. An experienced remodel contractor is essential. We have had success bidding elementary remodels and replacement schools. CM/GC is definitely needed for more complex middle and high school remodels. 10. Always expect surprises on remodels. Budget adequate contingencies of both time and money. Final Thoughts

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