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Master Facilities Planning Committee Recap: Dec. 5, 2022

Master Facilities Planning Committee Recap: Dec. 5, 2022

At the Dec. 5, 2022 Master Facilities committee meeting, the Board reviewed potential operational savings between plan options three and four. This additional information was requested by the Board ahead of Monday’s vote on a final plan.

The estimated savings centered around anticipated staffing changes through attrition for the two options. Both options call for similar grade-band configurations:

  • A standalone preschool building;
  • Kindergarten-fifth grade;
  • Sixth-eighth grade; and 
  • Ninth-twelfth grade.

Option three calls for an additional third building that would be shared between the high schools, with students traveling there throughout the day on shuttle buses. Option four calls for two new high schools with the current Lakota East and Lakota West buildings shifting to middle schools.

At the October committee meeting, the Board reviewed the potential impact to cost savings related to Child Nutrition and custodial staffing. The December meeting focused on building administrator and support staff. Chief Operations Officer Chris Passarge and Treasurer/CFO Adam Zink both stressed that the estimates were based on attrition, not a reduction in force.

Passarge and Zink collaborated with leaders from Lakota’s human resources, special education and curriculum departments, along with Superintendent Matt Miller and Assistant Superintendent Robb Vogelmann, to review anticipated changes in staffing needs between the two options. “We started looking at the different options (and) configurations and what we think we could achieve through personnel savings…and what we think it could look like for staffing models,” said Passarge. 

Passarge noted that, regardless of the option, the team did not expect to see staffing changes among K-6 core classroom teachers, K-12 special education teachers and support, such as speech and language, occupational therapists, physical therapists and psychologists, English language learner teachers and reading specialists. “These are all student-to-teacher ratios that are outlined in either board policy or caseloads (in) special education,” Passarge explained. “It really is student driven based on our population.” 

Passarge also discussed estimated transportation savings based on options three and four. With the shared high school building in option three, Lakota’s transportation partner, Petermann, is estimating the need for 30 shuttles between the high schools’ main campuses and the shared building. With this option, there is no estimated cost savings. 

With option four, Petermann is estimating a reduction of six-to-eight routes for grades kindergarten through eighth grade students. This would be an estimated cost savings between $420,000-$560,000.

The estimated savings for option three is $4.3 million and option four is $7.2 million.

The Board also briefly discussed the community’s feedback on the four options through the district’s ThoughtExchanges, which ran from June through the beginning of November.

Although the Board will vote on a final option at its Dec. 12 meeting, there has been no determination on when construction of new buildings would begin or when the district would ask for the community’s support through a bond issue. “Once the plan is selected, the committee can get to work in order to determine how our facilities can support our students' education in the best way possible,” said Miller. “We will be engaging our staff, families, students and community as the details are worked out. Our schools belong to our community, and we want to work together to build the plan that will carry Lakota into the future.”

  • facilities
  • finance
  • thought exchange
  • thought exchange results