School Board Begins Look Into The Future

Board of Education facilities committee chairman Rich Seamon speaks about the Long Rang Facility Plan.

The Board of Education on Sept. 26 took its first step to look five years into the future.

The board’s facilities committee met in its annual open meeting to discuss the upcoming Long Range Facility Plan.

School districts in the state are required to update their long range plans at least once every five years.

Unlike the last plan, which anticipated the massive $85 million district reorganization which included the construction of Claremont Road School, this plan will focus on maintenance and upkeep of district facilities, committee chairman Rich Seamon said.

The board was assisted in its explanation of what will be happening by Patrick Seiwell, principal architect for the DRG Group of Somerset.

Seiwell said DRG staff will speak with district administration, school staff and will study the latest demographic information to anticipate how many students may be attending each school over the next five years.

For now, he said, “we feel pretty confident that we’ve taken care of capacity issues.”

In visiting the schools, Seiwell said, DRG staff will be looking for deficiencies.

“They’ll talk to principals, buildings and grounds staff to see deficiencies and problems they’d like to see fixed over the next five years,” he said.

The discussions will include everything from parking lots to the buildings’ structure to electrical systems, he said.

“We’ll look at things that weren’t done and things that may need to be done over the next five years,” said schools Superintendent John Ravally. “We’ll create a new plan that will guide our decisions over the next five years.”

Township schools “are used a lot,” Seamon said. Not only by students and staff, but also by outside groups in the evenings, he said.

“That takes a toll, and if we don’t do maintenance, we’ll end up in a horrible situation someday down the road,” he said.

Seamon said a final report is expected sometime next Spring.

Board members also encouraged members of the public to submit questions and comments on the plan, and may do so by emailing them to LRFP@franklinboe.org.


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